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Newest SD 170 board member is sister of Chicago Heights mayor

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez

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Updated: June 23, 2013 6:41AM



Chicago Heights Mayor Dave Gonzalez’s sister is the newest member of the Chicago Heights School District 170 Board.

The board voted May 13 to appoint Elizabeth Nevarez to the board, according to Supt. Tom Amadio. She replaced Norma Caratachea, who resigned from the seat, which is not up for election until April 2015.

Amadio said he was not aware Nevarez was Gonzalez’s sister until the SouthtownStar inquired about the matter.

Caratachea, who could not be reached for comment, submitted a resignation letter to the board prior to its April meeting, Amadio said.

In a written statement, Gonzalez praised Nevarez for knowing District 170 “as a student and as a parent.

“Whenever a qualified, well-educated, longtime resident of the city of Chicago Heights has an opportunity to volunteer their time in a leadership role to help advance the education of our children, we should welcome that civic participation,” Gonzalez wrote.

He wrote that Nevarez graduated from District 170, Bloom High School, Prairie State College and Governors State University, and she has a master’s degree in nursing.

Gonzalez said that while he welcomes District 170’s decision to appoint Nevarez, he said the direction to do so comes from “the board alone.”

Gonzalez was elected mayor, leading the Unity Party slate, in April 2011. Unity Party candidates Caratachea, board President Sam Costello, and board member Curtis Carr were elected to the District 170 board in that same election.

According to election records, board secretary and Chicago Heights code enforcement director Don Garcia and board vice president James Cordes have donated to the Unity Party.

Board member Richard Karwowski, elected in April, ran unsuccessfully as a Unity Party candidate for the Bloom Township High School District 206 Board in the April 2011 election.

Costello and Cordes did not respond to multiple messages. Nevarez could not be reached for comment.



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