Joliet D-86 board names Dorris to fill vacancy

Co-founder of community organization fills Kim’s seat

JOLIET – Erick Deshaun Dorris was appointed Wednesday night by the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors to fill a vacant school board seat, left by the resignation of Christine Kim on Feb. 1.

Dorris is a resident of the district’s East Side and was chosen over three other applicants. He said he moved back to Joliet a couple years ago, but grew up in the area.

He has worked in Chicago Public Schools.

Dorris is a 1999 Joliet Central High School graduate and co-founder of United In Excellence, a community organization that advocates for students and programs at Joliet Township High School District 204.

“We have some good things happening in Joliet schools,” Dorris said. “I want to be able to tell those good stories.”

Dorris said he wasn’t interested in public office before this. As an artist and an educator, he said he considers serving on the board an extension of his education career.

“Erick Deshaun Dorris is going to be a wonderful addition to the board,” Board of School Inspectors President Tonya Roberts said in a news release. “He will be a strong advocate for our students.”

Dorris took the Oath of Office at Pershing Elementary School. He will fill the remainder of the term that will expire in April 2019.

One of the requirements for the seat was for the candidate to live on the east side of Joliet – east of the Des Plaines River – for at least one year. The board will have an election in April for three seats. Incumbent Gwendolyn Ulmer and Sanina “Nina” Campbell are running for one east side seat.