The St. Joseph-Ogden School Board has a new member.
The Board of Educated voted to fill a vacant position with Alicia Maxey.
Maxey said she decided to apply for the vacant position because she wanted to contribute to the district.
“I spent much of my career working as an SRO with amazing staff, teachers and administration,” she said. “When I retired I wanted find a way to continue to help the youth of our community. When the seat on the school board became available, it was a perfect solution to allow me to continue to be a part of a school of which I am proud.”
Maxey retired as SJO’s School Resource Officer in August 2019 after suffering a knee injury.
Maxey served for 19 years in the position.
Maxey said her goal when she decided to become an SRO was to make a difference in the lives of children.
“I wanted them to have a positive role model like I did,” she said. “I wanted to help them through the difficult times if they need it.”
Maxey said she feels her experience in the school daily will be invaluable in her new position.
“I hope I can communicate all of the things I learned from our students, my prior job and effectively help to make our school even better than it already has proven to be,” she said.
During her tenure as the SRO, Maxey worked to help students develop a relationship of trust with the police.
“I wanted to be the person to bridge that divide,” she said. “I hope that I have made a difference in the lives of some our children here in St Joseph and Ogden for the better. It’s all about the kids. They are the most important thing we can affect, and I loved doing it.”
Maxey knows there are challenges facing the district she loves. These include challenges from the COVID pandemic and finances.
“Today, schools are struggling to figure out how best to proceed and keep our children safe from a variety of issues including, but not limited to COVID,” she said. “The financial uncertainty of the state of Illinois will be a hurdle for everyone including the schools.”
Maxey intends to spend the next few weeks learning about the district’s finances and reviewing policy. She also hopes to learn about the vision the current school board has for the district.
“I hope to be a part of helping the school flourish in all aspects, everything from getting the best teachers, the facilities to IT,” she said. “School climate is important and I hope to continue to support and encourage our students to set goals and achieve them.”
Maxey said she was looking forward to her next chapter at SJO.
“I was blessed with an amazing career working with wonderful children and families,” she said. “Seeing the kids grow up, come back to see me and tell me they achieved their goals is an indescribable feeling.”