District 218 hasn't asked Holmes for resignation

Board member was charged with DUI last month

A Community High School District 218 school board member who was charged last month with DUI has not decided whether he will remain on the board of education.

Johnny Holmes, 66, of Robbins, was charged with DUI in Midlothian on Dec. 22. Holmes, who was at the time of the charge the police chief in Robbins, retired from that position Jan. 4 after 33 years with the department, according to Robbins village administrator Napoleon Haney.

Holmes last week said he is still considering whether he will resign from his seat on the District 218 board.

"We're just working through it," he said, referencing district officials. "I have no comments other than that."

Holmes was arrested at 10:44 p.m. Dec. 22 at the intersection of 147th Street and Pulaski Road in Midlothian. A witness reportedly called police to report an intoxicated driver about to turn north on Pulaski Road from 147th Street, and a patrol officer saw Holmes' white 2007 GMC Yukon - which matched the caller's description of the vehicle - turn onto Pulaski. The officer who made the traffic stop knows Holmes, police said.

Holmes had been drinking at the Posen Pub, 14346 Western Ave. in Posen., and at the time of the traffic stop thought he was still at the pub, police said. When asked to perform field sobriety tests, Holmes reportedly said, "oh wow" and "yeah." Police reportedly found a flask containing alcohol in the front pocket of his jacket.

Holmes was charged with two counts of DUI, improper lane usage, illegal transportation of alcohol, disobeying a police officer, failure to stop when required, and no proof of insurance.

Holmes has served on the District 218 board of education since April 2003. District Superintendent John Byrne said "the whole issue is disappointing," and that it is not easy for district officials to decide whether to ask Holmes to resign. The district has not asked him to step down, and Byrne noted District 218 board President Randy Hauser during a closed session meeting on Jan. 14 did not ask board members for a consensus on whether they believe Holmes' should resign.

"Johnny has been part of the community for so long," Byrne said. "He has lived in these communities as long as I have. Whenever you do something wrong, people forget everything you did right; and Johnny and his wife have been absolutely wonderful in the community."

The board does not have a replacement in mind should Holmes step down, Byrne said. If Holmes does resign, District 218 residents would be able to submit letters of interest to the board, which would then conduct interviews with the applicants, he said.

"Johnny has been part of the community for so long. Whenever you do something wrong, people forget everything you did right; and Johnny and his wife have been absolutely wonderful in the community."

- Dist. 218 Supt. John Byrne

Admiral discusses elements of teamwork

From Bob McParland
High School Dist. 218

During his 30 years in the U.S. Navy, and particularly while serving as captain of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne learned and practiced the elements of leadership and teamwork.

Responsible for the success of large-scale military operations and the safety of the thousands in his command, he'd need to have a keen understanding of managerial excellence.

So when he started as national director of the U.S. Navy's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, he chose, for his first site to visit, a unit that exemplified such ideals.

"America's in great hands," he told the JROTC students at Richards High School. "This is the first school I've visited since I took control. I could not have made a better choice for a first site visit."

Although Mewbourne addressed Bulldog Company, he listened more than he spoke. Students asked about the best part of serving in the Navy.

"I don't like sitting behind a desk. I like going out and talking with people. Today, my first day, I got to do this," said Mewbourne, who also manages all training for officers and enlisted personnel excluding the U.S. Naval Academy. "The best part of my career has been the people with whom I have worked."

Students, of course, asked about commanding an aircraft carrier.

"It's a complex organization, a matrix organization. We have to do dangerous things and manage that risk. The Navy prepares you, though, through its leadership development program," Mewbourne said.

While students wanted to know about the military and technical dimensions of serving as captain of an aircraft carrier, Mewbourne stressed the human elements.

"The number one thing is the people. They're just like all of you. They're from all over the country and they joined the Navy for different reasons. The one thing they tend to have in common is that they joined because they wanted their life to have meaning," Mewbourne said.

Regardless of their career paths, he urged students to aim high.

"My parents didn't have a lot of money. I needed to get a scholarship. I try to remind my own children that you can achieve your dreams if you push yourself and set goals," Mewbourne said.

He emphasized, however, that who they're becoming matters more than what they'll do.

"With my children, they may not have known at your age what they wanted to become. But they did know who they wanted to become as a person. I would wish that for all of you."

Bulletin Board

Evergreen Park Dist. 124

School District 124 provides free vision, hearing, speech, language, basic concepts knowledge, and fine and gross motor skills screenings for children 3 to 5 years old who are not yet in kindergarten. Children eligible can qualify for special programs. For more information call Jean Hector at 423-0951, Ext. 2140.

Oak Lawn Park Dist.

A preschool open house for Learn as You Grow I and II programs will be held at the Little White Building, 9514 S. 54th Ave., Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6 to 7 p.m. A second open house for PlaySchool and Prep School programs will be held at Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St., Thursday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. Parents and children can meet with teachers, check out the facilities, and receive detailed information about the programs. For more information call 857-2200.


Kindergarten Enrollment for Chicago Ridge School District 127

Book challenge

Preschoolers, kindergartners and first-graders at Dorn School in Hickory Hills are competing in a book-reading challenge through Feb. 22 with the hope of winning more books. Preschool students Leyan Mahmoud (front, from left), Paulina Kozub and Muath Alayan; kindergarteners Colin Kramer (middle, from left), Tomas Novikas and Izabela Mietus; and first-graders Rudy Duncan (back, from left), Michael McCann and Gabriela Drazek are all competing in the challenge.

Building character

Sixth graders from St. Louis de Montfort School in Oak Lawn attended a retreat at Queen of Peace High School. Students Lesli Garcia (from left) Katie Inglesby, Gabby Accetturo, Haylee Koche, Kasia Wojitowicz, Trinity Venegas, Amanda Przygonska, Gabriel Barrios and Frankie Acosta participated in discussions about character-building and life skills.