Candice Mares for Board of Education

Candice Mares

My name is Candice Mares. I am the mother of two incredible Ideal Panthers.

I am established and deeply involved in my community:

Growing up in LaGrange District 105, I graduated from St. Cletus and Lyons Township High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.

Dr. Kristine Lonsway will not be running for reelection, which leaves Countryside unrepresented on the School Board. (Thank you for your years of service and hard work Kristine.) This knowledge compelled me to step up and offer my services to the community.

As a mother, a community member, a homeowner, an employee of a Countryside business, and a taxpayer, I am dedicated to the strength and success of District 105. The wellbeing of all the children, teachers, staff, administration, and the surrounding community members motivates me to create positive change.

I am a compassionate, dedicated, and thoughtful woman, capable of learning, and listening in order to make fair informed decisions in the best interest of the District 105 family. I believe my commitment and qualifications make me an outstanding candidate. I ask for your support in my race for School Board.

Candice Lynn Mares for Board of Education

The Slate

History has proven that we are stronger together. I am running a slate with two other incredible women, Amy Hartman and Kelly Young, see their bios below. A School Board Member has no authority as an individual. I am running for this office to participate effectively in the Board’s tradition of fair leadership and good decision making. I want to be a voice for our community and ensure that Ideal School is heard on the District 105 School Board. The ultimate goal is to be a force for good, nurturing equity, and maintaining representation for every community in District 105, I hope you will support me in this endeavor.

Please reach out to me anytime with questions.

Kids in the District
Years Working
Years in the District
Unions Supporting Me

The Slate

I am running on a slate with these super qualified candidates.

Amy Flaherty Hartman

Amy Flaherty Hartman

Amy Flaherty Hartman

As a La Grange community member, professional, wife and mother of young twins, I am running for District 105 school board to advocate for educational achievement, equity among schools and fiscal responsibility. My husband John and I live in La Grange with our twins who are currently third graders at Seventh Avenue Elementary School. In addition to being a wife and mom, I have been practicing law for nearly 20 years. After graduating with distinction from the University of Illinois College of Law, I spent nine years in private practice as a successful litigator at a large law firm in Chicago and, over the last decade, practiced law in the public sector as an attorney for the federal government rising to a supervisory role.

During my career as an attorney, I cultivated my abilities to understand complex financial matters and to quickly get up-to-speed on diverse and challenging subject matters. As a new board member there may be topics for which I am unfamiliar, but I am confident I will ask the necessary questions and invest the time required to become knowledgeable on the issues before the board in order to make an informed decision. I am committed to listening thoughtfully to others, to striving to reach a consensus with other board members, and to respecting differences of opinion. Above all, I promise to be open-minded, deliberate and fair when voting on issues before the board.

My interest in running for school board is three-fold. First, I am very focused on the achievement gap, which has the potential to become even more pronounced in the wake of Covid-19 despite the incredible efforts of the teachers and staff during this unprecedented year. A top priority of the district is to ensure all students demonstrate continuous academic growth. Addressing any gaps in achievement is paramount to attaining that goal, and I am dedicated to listening to ideas and encouraging open communication between educators and staff and the board to collaborate on ways to minimize that gap. Second, I believe equity across the schools in the district is essential, and one way to reinforce that principle is through equity in representation of all schools in the district on the school board. Consequently, I was motivated to run as a current Seventh Avenue school parent. While I pledge to make decisions in the best interests of the entire district as opposed to any particular school, I believe there is value in diversity of representation on the board. Finally, as a government employee for over ten years, I take very seriously the trust taxpayers place in public employees and elected representatives. I am committed to making fiscally responsible decisions for the district and to ensuring that funds are equitably distributed to support all students, teachers and staff and to improve all schools across the district.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss any concerns or obtain a better understanding of my views on the issues impacting our schools. Thank you for your consideration.


Kelly Young

Kelly Young

Kelly Young

My name is Kelly Young and I am running for the LaGrange School District 105 School Board. I was born and raised in Hodgkins, Illinois, and I am proud to be an alumni and the parent of three, 4th generation Hodgkins School Bulldogs. My husband, Joe, and I are happy to carry on the wonderful tradition my grandmother established for our family back in 1941 when Hodgkins School was just a small, two-room schoolhouse. Almost 80 years later, my sons embark on their own District 105 education and I am looking forward to being as involved as possible.

Public service has been at the forefront of my life, which started with my first job in high school at the Hodgkins Park District. After graduating from the University of Illinois, I continued my career there and worked my way up to the position of Executive Director. I put my heart into every decision I make to both benefit the needs of my community and to be a good steward of the tax money I have been entrusted to allocate responsibly. I am diligent on budgetary matters and have successfully managed multiple capital projects, tax levies, and state grants, resulting in new and updated amenities for our patrons. I have many years of experience working with a public Board and have an acute understanding of operating a government entity.

The main focus of my campaign is the desire for equity in educational resources. I will strive to make sure that all of our schools are equipped with the proper tools to close the achievement gap and improve the academic performance of all students. As we navigate through uncharted territory during the pandemic, the achievement gap is even more fragile. We must be proactive in preparing for academic and social-emotional effects caused by such an unprecedented year, especially for our most vulnerable students.

I am running for school board to make a difference in my community. I will bring my knowledge of government finance, passion for equity, and genuine regard for the education of all the children in the district, to the table. A diverse board consisting of representation from all the communities of District 105 makes us stronger and more capable of meeting the needs of our students. My goal is to continue the hard work of our current board and to be a voice for every child, no matter where they reside in the district.



Help me help you and your children. Every little bit will help.


Here are some of my favorite moments giving back to our community.

Climbing with my Boys
2019 LeaderShop Commitment Ceremony
Accepting the 2019 Commitment to Youth Award
PCWS Youth Group
PCWS 2019 Mission Trip
Zig the Dog
First day of School
Our Church Pageant


I'd love your feedback!

Candice Mares

Countryside, IL
Phone: 773-771-0148
Email: CandiceForD105@gmail.com

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