From left, Leslie Ford, Christopher Ford, Heaven Woodson, and Jennifer Williams. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)
Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Virginia Ford’s family members and numerous friends were present for the dedication of the Virginia Ford Media Center/Board Room on November 7 during the Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 Board of Education meeting at 21st Century Preparatory Center. Leslie Ford, Mrs. Ford’s daughter, cut the red ribbon at the entry to the renovated Media Center as her sister, Jennifer Williams, and brother, Christopher Ford, and other family members and friends looked on.
Jennifer Williams unveiled the replica of the plaque that will hang outside of the Media Center/Board Room. Forest Trail students Amari Simmons, Achanti Brooks and Elysia Sawyers read inspirational poems and Zion Harmon and Jada Roberts sang moving songs. Books purchased with donations from staff members to the Virginia Ford Library Fund were displayed in the Board Room. They will be placed on the Media Center’s book shelves.
“Mrs. Ford made a difference for this community that is immeasurable,” said Superintendent Joyce Carmine. “Her actions always were based on what is best for our children, their families and our community. It was Mrs. Ford who led the charge on reopening Sauk Trail School as an early childhood center; reducing the District’s deficit and maintaining a balanced budget for six years, which resulted in the District receiving financial recognition by the state; implementing a full day kindergarten program with teacher assistants; air conditioning every classroom; and developing a healthy technology budget to place the District in the forefront of the educational community. She was a constant supporter of our libraries and ensured that the library fund received an additional allocation of $30,000 so that all of our school libraries were up-to-date. She had tremendous integrity. I am honored to have been her colleague and her friend.”
Mrs. Ford, a longtime Park Forest resident, was a District 163 Board of Education member for 15 years. During her tenure she served as its president and vice president. Mrs. Ford passed away on January 19, 2011.