Athanasia Soula Skokos: 2023 candidate for Butler Elementary District 53 board


Town: Oak Brook

Age on Election Day: 47

Occupation: Attorney

Employer: Skokos Law Group, LLC

Previous offices held: None


Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?

A: I am running for election for the first time. I believe that it is imperative that all students receive the highest quality education possible. As a parent with young children in the district, I want to see the district work toward planning for the future and ensure that we are doing what is in the best interest of all the children in the district.

Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?

A: The role of the school board is to help incorporate the community's vision of what students should learn to achieve academic excellence and to ensure that the students and teachers have the resources they need.

Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?

A: While it is important to continue the strong academic pursuits we have grown to expect in our district, it is equally important that all students are supported and provided the resources they require to succeed. Further, it is of special concern to me that any changes to special education are closely monitored to ensure that the students are receiving the proper resources and support they require because all the students in this district deserve our support.

Q: How do you view your role in confronting policy or curriculum controversies: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents - even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?

A: The role of a school board member is to vote as a board on issues, including controversial ones. As written, the question appears to paint an either/or scenario of when facing a policy or curriculum controversy, a board member either will give a voice to constituents or defer to state authorities. Such controversies need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. While school board members provide a voice to the constituents, they also are required to respect the taxpayer interests and need to protect the district from possible liabilities and costly litigation.

Q: Concerns are growing regarding a new resurgence of the pandemic. If another massive outbreak of infectious disease occurs, what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will guide your decision making?

A: I applaud our schools' handling of the pandemic and very grateful to the nurses who went above and beyond during this challenging time. We came together as a community to overcome such an unexpected challenge and would expect to do the same in the future.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.

A: As a former engineer and currently practicing attorney, my experiences working in group settings have focused on problem solving both in collaborative and adversarial settings.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: With my multidisciplinary background and ability to problem solve, I bring a unique set of skills and perspective to the Board. Also, having young children in the district, I am passionate about working to improve our schools and help plan for the future.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?

A: With the goal of accountability, transparency and open dialogue within the community, my idea is to have the district have town hall meetings with the superintendent to give the community the opportunity to be heard and share their concerns. While community members are able to make comments at school board meetings, it is not the proper forum to have open dialogues.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.