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Board Corner

South Bend Empowerment Zone Board

The South Bend Empowerment Zone and its Empowerment Zone Chief are directly accountable to a non-profit Board. The Board consists of both local independent and SBCSC members, allowing community voice to play a critical role in the process of transforming our neighborhood schools.

Sign up to make a public comment at our upcoming board meeting. The form closes at 12:00 PM the day of the board meeting. 

South Bend Empowerment Zone Board of Directors

Sam Centellas, Board Chair 

Term 2019-2024

scentellas@sbez.org

 

Sam is a community advocate and leader in the Latino community. He previously worked at IUSB, Ivy Tech, and La Casa de Amistad, and is excited to serve on the Empowerment Zone board to advocate for positive educational outcomes for Westside students and families. 

Rosa Hiestand, Board Secretary

Term 2021-2025

rhiestand1@ivytech.edu

Rosa Hiestand currently serves as a professor of early childhood education at Ivy Tech Community College. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in the early childhood education field from the community perspective, as well as from the national perspective. Rosa has served in various leadership roles, including that of the board president of Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children. Hiestand’s passion stems from  the belief that high quality education comes from high quality educators. She dedicates her career to ensure that educators are highly qualified to better the lives of children.  

Ryan Matthys, Board Treasurer

Ryan.Matthys@rsmus.com

 

Ryan is a managing partner of RSM US LPP, an audit, tax and consulting firm, and a graduate of Washington High School. He has also served on the board of the South Bend Education Foundation.

Stephanie Ball, Board Member

sball@sbcsc.k12.in.us 

 

Stephanie currently serves as the 4th District representative of the South Bend Community School Corporation Board. Stephanie is a lifelong resident of South Bend, having graduated from the former LaSalle High School on the city's Near Westside.

 

Stephanie continues to reside in the Near Westside neighborhood and has a passion for community service, as evidenced by her past roles as a Client Services Advocate at both the Housing Authority of South Bend and the South Bend Heritage Foundation. She is passionate about working to ensure that South Bend's schools and neighborhoods continue to grow and thrive. 

Kareemah Fowler, Board Member

kfowler@sbcsc.k12.in.us

Kareemah Fowler, currently the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance & CFO of the South Bend Community School Corporation, has been a public servant for the past two decades. She began her public sector journey in 2001 as a St. Joseph County Assessor, where she, among other things, analyzed and managed over $8 billion worth of property assessment data and successfully redesigned and consolidated 13 individual township assessor offices into two.

Jeff Rea, Board Member

jrea@sbez.org

 

Jeff Rea is the current President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber and the Greater Niles (MI) Chamber, a role that he has held since September, 2010.  In that position, Rea represents the interests of more than 1,300 member businesses, who employ some 70,000 employees in Indiana and Michigan. Rea guides the Chamber efforts in business advocacy, economic development, and destination marketing. Prior to coming to the Chamber, Rea served as the Mayor of the City of Mishawaka for 6 ½ years.  Rea is a frequent speaker, trainer, facilitator and commentator. He is the host of WNIT (PBS) Television’s Economic Outlook show, a weekly program that explores the stories, companies and people helping drive the regional economy. Rea is also a columnist for the South Bend Tribune, where he covers similar themes. Rea is a graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, with a degree in Public Administration. Rea has been on the Zone Board since the beginning. He currently lives in South Bend within the Empowerment Zone area.

Sonya Watkins, Board Member

swatkins@sbcsc.k12.in.us

 

Sonya is the Associate Director of Talent Search (TRIO) at the University of Notre Dame. Energized by challenges and driven by an authentic desire to improve the lives of potential first-generation college students who come from low-income families, Sonya has enjoyed serving and equipping students and families for their college and career futures. Sonya is a board member for Mamas Against Violence, a local non-profit organization. She is also an active member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist church, where she volunteers for the Youth Ministry.

Leslie Wesley, Board Member

lwesley@sbcsc.k12.in.us

 

Leslie is the District 3 representative for the South Bend Community School Corporation. A South Bend native and local activist, Wesley has also been on the board of the YWCA, Logan Center Foundation, Drifters, Inc., National Board of Directors, and the Bill “Corky’ Locke Foundation. 

Duane Wilson, Board Member

dwilson@bgcsjc.org

 

Duane serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County’s 22 locations. Along with his oversight of the organization’s day-to-day operating activities, he leads the implementation of new strategic initiatives around process, technology, safety and culture. He also serves as a board member of the  South Bend Alumni Association and St. Margaret’s House.  

 

Duane graduated from Park University and holds a B.S. in Social Psychology and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. He has been a Zone Board member for just under a year. He and his family moved from Spokane, Washington, 23 years ago and now reside in South Bend. They enjoy traveling together in their free time.  

SBEZ Upcoming Board Meetings

Meetings are scheduled to be live-streamed on our Facebook and YouTube Channels.

Board of Directors Board Meeting Dates & Times 

The third Tuesday of every other month, unless otherwise specified

  • Executive Sessions 4:30 PM-6:00 PM

  • Public Sessions 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Please note, the dates, times, and locations listed here are subject to change.

The public will be notified per Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-5.

October Meeting

Date: October 13, 2023

Executive Session: 9:00 AM-12:30 PM

Public Session: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Location: LGI at Harrison Elementary

3302 W Western Ave, South Bend, IN

November Meeting

Date: November 21, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

January Meeting

Date: January 16, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

March Meeting

Date: March 19, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

May Meeting

Date: May 21, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: Warren Elementary School

55400 Quince Rd, South Bend, IN 46619

December Meeting

Date: December 19, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: Coquillard Elementary School

1245 N Sheridan St, South Bend, IN 46628

February Meeting

Date: February 20, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: Wilson Elementary School

56660 Oak Rd, South Bend, IN 46619

April Meeting

Date: April 16, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: Harrison Elementary School

3302 W Western Ave, South Bend, IN

June Meeting

Date: June 18, 2024

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: Navarre Middle School

4702 Ford St, South Bend, IN 46619

SBEZ Previous Board Meetings

Click on the AgendaMinutes , and Financials links to learn more about each meeting.

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
September 19, 2023

September Meeting

Date: September 19, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
August 22, 2023

August Meeting

Date: August 22, 2023

Public Session: 4:30 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
July 18, 2023

July Meeting

Date: July 18, 2023

Closed Session: 4:30 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

July 11, 2023

July Meeting

Date: July 11, 2023

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
June 26, 2023

June Meeting

Date: June 26, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
May 16, 2023

May Meeting

Date: May 16, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

 

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
April 24, 2023

April Meeting

Date: April 24, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
March 14, 2023

March Meeting

Date: March 14, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

SBEZ Board of Directors Meeting
February 16, 2023

February Meeting

Date: February 16, 2023

Executive Session: 4:30 PM

Public Session: 6:00 PM

Location: 215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601

South Bend Empowerment Zone Bylaws

Historical Spending Analysis

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