East St. Louis school board candidate: Rodney Lewis

Name: Rodney Lewis

City of Residence: Unincorporated Centreville Township

Age: 43

Family status: Single

Education: SIU Carbondale, Fire Science Management, B.S.

Occupation: Lieutenant with the East St. Louis Fire Department

Political party: Democrat

Office sought: Board Member, East St. Louis School District 189

Previously held offices: Former board member of St. Clair Community Action Agency/Inter-government Grants Department, former Democratic Precinct committeeman and East-West Gateway/STARRS training/exercise committee member

What qualifies you for this position?

“I am a product of East St. Louis School District 189, K – 12th grade. I graduated from SIUC with a B.S. in Fire Science Management. My public service career began in 1994 as a volunteer firefighter in Centreville and Alorton. I was employed with School District 189 for five years and on the Teachers Union Executive Council. I am a lieutenant with the East St. Louis Fire Department and hold an Illinois Fire Service and American Red Cross Instructor certifications. I have served our country during National Special Security Events Hurricane Katrina, Haitian Earthquake and United Nations General Assembly.”

What is the top issue in your race, and how would you address it?

“The highest priority is to provide an exceptional education for students by ensuring a safe learning environment and safe working conditions. I will use my public safety experiences to enforce S.M.A.R.T. policies. I will work with other board members to secure and protect schools, bus stops and after school programs. We can increase after school programs in Alorton, Centreville, East St. Louis, Washington Park and other communities. Mayors and not-for profit groups can help to engage children. We must implement a strict mandate for career/life planning for high school seniors and strive for a graduation rate of 100 percent.”