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Meet the Board


Pam Paris, Board Vice President

Pamela Paris

Pamela Paris has been a board member since 2015.  Mrs. Paris is the current board president and has had many active leadership roles within the district. She currently serves as chairperson of the Communications and Community Engagement Committee, Formerly the chairperson of the Policy Committee and vice chair of the Legislative Committee. In addition, Pam serves as Board Liaison for the Foundation, PFA, and MPA.

Within the Parent Faculty Association, she served as chair for cardinal courier, hospitality committee and graduation committee. She was also on the executive board as Treasurer and the President of the Association. During her time at 118, she also had many opportunities to work with the teachers and administration. Currently she serves for District 230 as the treasurer for the Stagg Music Boosters and on the Parent Advisory Board for District 230 and thoroughly understand the benefits of the importance of a close connection with District 118 as a feeder district to High School District 230.She is an active member in her church serving as treasurer and on various boards and committees. Mrs. Paris is also the former treasurer and board member of the Association of Women in the Metal Industries and continues to volunteer for other non-profit organizations. She has worked outside the home but now spends her time in the service of others and looks forward to bringing that level of dedication to the 118 school board.   Mrs. Paris has completed training on the Open Meetings Act (OMA), as required by State Law and completed professional leadership training and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) training, among other topics. Mrs. Paris' term expires in 2027.

Mrs. Paris may be contacted by email at


Mike Pizur, Secretary

Michael Pizur
Vice President

My involvement in District 118 is similar to a lot of families; it began with our eldest entering Kindergarten. Our family was immediately immersed in, and drawn to, the Palos 118 culture. Everyone we encountered, from faculty and support staff to administration and parent volunteers, exhibited the same spirit of doing what’s best for the children. And it’s absolutely infectious! It’s a blessing to live in the Palos area, in general, and have such amazing schools, in particular. I wanted to show my appreciation by giving back. So, my journey in serving the community took me to board service. In spring 2018, there was an announcement on the district website about a vacancy on the school board. I applied, went through the interview process, and am fortunate to have been selected to serve our children; being appointed in May 2018. My volunteer service was such a joy that I came back and was elected to a full term in 2019 and re-elected in 2023. Together, may we continue our legacy of excellence!

Mr. Pizur has completed training on the Open Meetings Act (OMA), as required by State Law and completed professional leadership training and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) training, among other topics. Mr. Pizur's term expires in 2027. Mr. Pizur was elected Board Vice President in 2023.

Mr. Pizur can be contacted by email at



Dr. Tim Baker, Board Member

Dr. Timothy Baker

Dr. Baker has spent nearly two decades in public education. He began his career at Harold L. Richards High School (Oak Lawn) as a science teacher and coach.  He then spent three years as the athletic director before assuming his current position as the Assistant Principal for Discipline, Attendance and Activities at Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois. Dr. Baker is a certified trainer for the ALICE institute, a school safety program designed to teach students and teachers how to respond to Violent Critical Incidents. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for “Mattea’s Joy” a charitable organization that provides support for families while their children stay at Comer’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago. He has also served two terms as the chairperson for the Community High School District 218 Arts Extravaganza.  Dr. Baker enjoys coaching his children through Our Lady of the Woods and the Orland and Palos park districts.  He has students at Palos South and Palos West where he has volunteered to chaperone field trips and work holiday parties.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Illinois State University, (‘01) a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lewis University (‘05) and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Concordia University (’21). Dr. Baker was elected Board Secretary in 2023.

Dr. Baker may be contacted by email at

Daniel Cox 2023

Dan Cox

Dan Cox and his wife have been residents of Palos Park since 2010 and have four fast-growing boys. Two of them currently attend Palos West, and the other two will follow. Mr. Cox enjoys coaching, volunteering in the classroom, and the culture surrounding the school district. Professionally, Mr. Cox works as a software developer for Allstate. He earned his associate degree from Moraine Valley Community College and his bachelors from Saint Xavier University. Mr. Cox was elected to the board of education in April 2023 to serve a four-year term and is excited to build on the rich tradition of Palos 118.

Mr. Cox can be contacted by email at

Jennifer Jensen, Board Member

Jennifer Jensen

Mrs. Jensen was elected to the Board of Education in April 2021 to a 4 year term. Growing up on the Southwest side of Chicago, Mrs. Jensen started her school years in CPS before transferring into the Catholic School system, graduating from Mt. Assisi Academy. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Elmhurst College and spent 13 years as a Special Education teacher in both Chicago and Palos Hills. Mrs. Jensen and her husband are residents of Palos Heights and the parents of two students at Palos East. Mrs. Jensen’s term expires in 2025. Committee Chair: Student Outcomes & Accountability. Board Liaison: PFA, MPA, and Education Foundation. 

Mrs. Jensen may be contacted by email at

Mark Kelly, Board Member

Mark Kelly

Mr. Kelly was elected to the Board of Education in April 2021 to a four-year term.  Mr. Kelly has two children that attend Palos 118 schools at Palos South and Palos West.  Mr. Kelly has been teaching high school economics, history, and government for 20 years and currently teaches in the Chicago Heights District 206 at Bloom High School.

Over the years, Mr. Kelly has enjoyed volunteering at Palos West during class parties, Laps for Literature, and Art Chat.  He is excited for the opportunity to be involved in the leadership of Palos 118. Committee Chair: Finance Committee.

Mr. Kelly can be contacted by email at  


Susan Szafranski, Board Member

Susan Szafranski

Mrs. Szafranski was elected to the Board of Education in April 2021.  Although born and raised in Blue Island, Mrs. Szafranski has lived in Palos Park since 2012.  Her two children both attended Palos East, before moving to Palos West after the boundary change. Her daughter still attends Palos West, while her son attends Palos South.  Over the last several years she has been involved in the district by volunteering in classrooms, chaperoning field trips, serving as a co-chair for the Shamrock-N-Roll and the One Love, One District fundraising events, and co-organizing the Camp Cardinal event at Palos West for students transitioning into the school from Palos East after the boundary shift.

Mrs. Szafranski spent 19 years as a full-time high school English and journalism teacher. During her teaching career she attended and presented at state and national conferences and was also involved in leadership roles within her schools. She currently works as an education consultant. Mrs. Szafranski earned a BA in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and an MEd in Teaching and Learning (Secondary Education) from DePaul University. Committee Chair: Policy Committee.

Mrs. Szafranski may be contacted by email at