Dolton 149 Board Appoints Mercedes Francisco to Fill Vacant Seat

Dolton 149 Board Appoints Mercedes Francisco to Fill Vacant Seat


Dolton 149 Board Appoints Mercedes Francisco to Fill Vacant Seat (Calumet City, IL) – South suburban Dolton School District 149’s Board of Education voted this week to appoint Calumet City resident Mercedes Francisco to a vacant seat on the seven-member panel.

At a board meeting on Tuesday, November 29, the board’s majority approved filling the vacancy created by the board’s removal of former board president Rayya Ghani. The board voted to expel Ghani due to six separate charges of official misconduct and negligence that occurred during her approximately year-long tenure as the board president, including ordering an unauthorized 6% raise for a favored school district employee without the board’s approval.


Francisco, a protection and advocacy investigator at the State of Indiana Disability Rights department, had previously served as a grievance specialist at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 in Chicago. She is also currently pursuing a Masters of Sciences at Purdue Northwest University.

“Mercedes Francisco is a clear education advocate. With two children enrolled in the district, she will strengthen the district’s connection to the interests of parents and provide the type of leadership that the Dolton 149 Board of Education needs,” said Board President Wilbur Tillman. “Both Mercedes’ varied government and government-related experience as well as her passionate, ‘can do’ attitude, problem solving skills, and, most important, her commitment to improving the education of Dolton 149 students make her an ideal member of the board.”

Francisco is “honored.”

“I am deeply honored by both the Dolton 149 Board of Education’s confidence in my professional background, my commitment to the school district, as well as their vote to confirm my appointment to the board,” said Francisco. “As a Calumet City resident and parent of children enrolled in the district, I am deeply committed to our children’s education, because if they thrive and succeed, Calumet City also thrives and succeeds, which, in turn, benefits our schools. It is a virtuous cycle.”

The Dolton 149 Board of Education’s next officially scheduled board meeting is December 14 and will be held at the Dirksen Middle School, 1650 Pulaski Road, Calumet City.

Dolton 149 Board Appoints Mercedes Francisco to Fill Vacant Seat


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Ex-Dolton 149 President Rayya Ghani Convicted and Removed from Board for Misconduct


“During approximately 14-months as board president, Rayya Ghani shamefully abused her office throughout her tenure an internal investigation by the board’s outside general counsel found, an investigation which included a review of hundreds of documents, emails, texts and witness interviews,” said Dolton 149’s new Board President, Wilbur Tillman. “The evidence presented at the special board hearing was sufficiently disturbing that the board majority was forced to convicted Ghani on all six charges and to remove Ghani from the board, effective immediately.”



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