1. What professional experience and education qualifications do you believe you possess that is relevant to your new role on the Board of Education?
One of the most important responsibilities of the school board as a whole is to set the vision and goals for the district. So, an effective member must have a clear vision with student achievement as the focal point. I believe I can be an effective school board member based on my education in the nonprofit sector and years of professional experience. I was recruited 14 years ago as the interim Executive Director of a failing community center. My vision was to offer quality out-of-school time programs to the kids in the surrounding community that attended schools ranging from 80-99% low income. I envisioned these programs as ones I would want for my own children. Through hard work and dedication, along with strategic partnerships with community individuals, organizations, and religious institutions, this vision came to fruition. This community center, that was once in danger of closing, is now highly respected for its quality out-of-school time programs as well as its many other outreach services.
2. How has your education and/or community involvement prepared you for this office?
I have spent the greater part of my adult life working for community nonprofit organizations and volunteering for various causes. I am currently a board member of the Bloom Township Food Pantry, Inc., peer mentor for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant through the Illinois State Board of Education, and past president and current member of the Rotary Club of Chicago Heights. For the past 11 years, I have enjoyed devoting time and effort to the schools in CM 201-U and local organizations such as Crete Bulldogs. My graduate degree in nonprofit management has reinforced the skills that I have acquired in all of these endeavors. I am excited to take my passion, skills, and commitment to the next level so that, together, we can clearly envision a great education for all of our students.
3. What are you priorities as an incoming board member?
I believe that each student has the right to an exceptional education through a focus on quality instruction, efficient systems, and a culture of excellence. My goal is to work with an organization that facilitates the education and development of all students through the provision of a foundation for lifelong learning.
Cheryl moved to Crete 17 years ago after her marriage to Donald Roop. Born and raised in Chicago Heights and a graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, she has lived in south suburban Chicago for most of her life. Cheryl and Don have two sons. Joshua is currently a sophomore at Crete-Monee High School, and Matthew is in 8th grade at Crete-Monee Middle School. As lifelong CM 201-U students, they both enjoyed their primary school years at Crete Elementary.
Cheryl has been active in the Crete community with her sons’ schools in various capacities, most recently as secretary of the Crete-Monee Middle School PTO. She was a volunteer Team Mom for Crete Bulldogs Football for 6 years. As part of her outreach in the Chicago Heights community, she is a current board member of the Bloom Township Food Pantry, Inc. and a past president and current member of the Rotary Club of Chicago Heights.
Professional / Education
Currently, Cheryl is the Executive Director of the Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center in Chicago Heights and has been in this position since 2003. She is responsible for the development, delivery, and maintenance of the agency’s service programs, funding base, and support systems. Prior to this, she has served as Coordinator of Fitness and Wellness Programs at Prairie State College, Coordinator of the “On Track” Adolescent Obesity Program at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and Service Officer with Citibank Private Banking. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Spertus Institute.