Local

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 swears in new board member

Emily Smith
Emily Smith

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 has a new board member.

Emily Smith, 36, of Lake in the Hills, a married mother of two children who is expecting a third in November, was sworn in at the District 47 board meeting Aug. 19.

Smith was selected to fill the vacancy left by Eileen Palsgrove, who stepped down after serving six years on the board, according to a district news release.

“We were lucky to have Eileen Palsgrove on our board and thank her for her years of service,” board President Rob Fetzner said. “At the same time, we are delighted to gain a new board member who’s a longtime Crystal Lake resident, a leader in our community and a parent in our school district.”

Board Vice President Betsy Les said Smith was selected for her strong community service background.

“Also, she is a real estate agent, so she definitely had a pulse on the community,” Les said.

Smith will serve out the last two years of Palsgrove’s term. Palsgrove retired from the board when she moved out of the district.

“Eileen made fabulous contributions to our board,” Les said. “She had a strong education background and a lot of life experiences she shared and brought to the board, enabling us to make good decisions.”

In two years, Smith will have to run for re-election to fill the four-year term.

Smith is a volunteer religious education teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake and serves on the PTA at Glacier Ridge Elementary School, District 47 spokeswoman Denise Barr said.

She also works as a commercial real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Starck Real Estate and is the owner of MLE Designs, a home-staging and decorating company. Smith also has worked as a service learning and volunteerism coordinator at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Barr said.

Smith was a co-founder of My Sister’s Dress, which she ran for 10 years. She and other volunteers collected gently used dresses and sold them for $25 each to high school girls going to prom. All proceeds from the annual sale would go to local nonprofits.

Smith also served on the board of directors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County and the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association Foundation. In 2009, she was named NISRA’s Foundation Board Volunteer of the Year and was recognized as a Northwest Herald “Best Under 40” recipient in 2010. She earned this honor for her work with My Sister’s Dress and her work at MCC.

“As a parent of a current student and future students in District 47, my motivation for joining the school board is to learn more about the school district while giving back to my community as a representative for district families,” Smith said. “We have been so happy with our experiences in the district.”

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