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Tamakia "TJ" Edwards Selected as New Member of the District 86 Board of Education

During its meeting on Aug. 3, 2020, the District 86 Board of Education appointed Tamakia “TJ” Edwards to fill the vacancy that was created when Nancy Pollak stepped down on June 29. Edwards will serve the remainder of Pollak’s term, which expires in April 2021.

“I want to thank Nancy again for her dedicated service to our district and community,” said Board President Kevin Camden. “I also want to congratulate TJ on her appointment, and welcome her to the board. We are excited to have someone with her knowledge and experience joining our team, and look forward to working alongside her in the year ahead to provide our students with a healthy and safe environment in which to pursue their ideal future.”

Edwards is the founder of Inner-View Coaching and Consulting Services, which helps technical professionals find their desired career placement by improving their performance and self-awareness. Edwards is also the capital construction program manager and project executive for the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Public Buildings Service. In this role, she serves as a key member of GSA’s leadership team in the Great Lakes region, and provides recommendations for ongoing projects, major renovations, adaptive reuse of existing assets and potential new construction that play a critical role in supporting and advancing the agency’s long-range planning efforts.

Edwards serves as a member of the special committee that works in conjunction with the district’s Facilities Committee. She also participates in and speaks at a variety of professional conferences, and served as the public relations liaison on the board of directors for Wells Temple of Deliverance. In terms of her educational background, Edwards earned her bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Edwards, who resides in Darien and has three sons (Messiah, who is a recent graduate of Hinsdale South; Chase, who is a seventh grader at Eisenhower Junior High; and Damarius, who lives in Chicago and works as an analyst at Goldman Sachs), said she is honored to be joining the board.

“I want to thank the District 86 Board of Education for this tremendous opportunity,” said Edwards. “I consider it a true privilege to serve a community that has meant so much to me and my family, and I am ready to begin the critical work that must be done to help our students learn, grow and achieve.”

A total of 15 people applied for the opening on the board by the July 21 deadline. Each candidate submitted a letter of interest and resume. The board selected four finalists from the pool of applicants, and conducted in-person interviews with them on July 27, 2020.

Camden expressed his gratitude to everyone who applied for the vacancy. He also thanked the countless individuals who volunteer in the district’s schools on a daily basis.

“We are incredibly fortunate to live in a place where people not only believe in the importance of education and the benefits of a strong school system, but are willing to dedicate their time, effort and energy to help our students succeed both in and out of the classroom,” said Camden.