Jess Buttimer headshot

I decided to run for school board because I believe in the promise of a high-quality public education. I've learned that our community wants to invest in students, celebrate strengths, and respectfully collaborate, to support continued excellence in a student-focused, data-driven, and financially sustainable way.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me. I'm glad you're here and I hope to earn your vote in April for D41 School Board.


Jess Buttimer

Professional Highlights

  • Studied Behavioral Science, Business, Communication, and Human-Computer Interaction
  • User Research Consultant
  • Capital Campaign Coordinator
  • Former Prairie Food Co-op Board Member (start-up for-profit)
  • Former GardenWorks Project Board Member (non-profit)

District 41 Highlights

  • Resident since 2006
  • Two daughters at Lincoln
  • District 41 Foundation Initiative
  • PTA Council Secretary
  • D41-411 School Board Summaries
  • D41 Forward for Kids Referendum Communications
  • Lincoln PTA Website and Newsletter design

My Experience


I currently work part-time as a freelance user research consultant and as Campaign Coordinator for Prairie Food Co-op in Lombard.

As a Senior Research Director, I sold, designed, and led large global usability research and design engagements. I traveled across the United States, Europe, and China to evaluate and improve cutting edge technologies.

Years of client management experience has taught me how to work well with others, manage expectations, be open to multiple perspectives, and collaborate towards consensus. As a researcher, I have learned to ask insightful questions, collect diverse data, avoid bias, and distill data into actionable information.

Board Experience

I am currently serving in my second year as Secretary for PTA Council and have been the chair of several committees for the Lincoln PTA. I recently completed two-year terms on the board of The GardenWorks Project and the board of Prairie Food Co-op.


I earned a Bachelor of Behavioral Science, Communication, and Business from Millikin University and a Master of Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University.

My Interest in District 41

My husband and I moved to Glen Ellyn in 2006 and our oldest child began attending Lincoln Elementary in 2015. Our daughters are now in second and third grade. They have loved all their teachers and have flourished under the care of all the wonderful professionals that have made school feel like a second home to them.

I am Secretary of PTA Council, volunteer frequently with the Lincoln PTA, have attended Parent Camp, Julie Causton presentations, SSPAC meetings, most Board of Education Meetings since May 2017, and several Glenbard Parent Series presentations.

Abe Lincoln PTA

After reading Beyond the Bakesale, I realized my expertise could best be used to enhance community engagement through clear and accessible communication. As a first step, I redesigned the Lincoln PTA website, newsletter, and Facebook page in 2016.

Website Before

Website After - 8/2016

Newsletter Before

Newsletter After - 8/2016

41 Forward for Kids - Referendum Committee

In January of 2017, I joined the 41 Forward for Kids committee that was successful in passing the referendum that expands and improves the safety and accessibility of our facilities, finally putting all students in permanent structures. I created the website, developed digital communications, and was instrumental in the development of brochures, info graphics, and mailers. It was important to me that our communications be clear, concise, accurate, and yet provide thorough context so voters could make the most informed decision.

41 Forward Brochure

41 Forward Poster

D41 Board of Education Meetings

Having attended a few Board of Education meetings during the referendum, I began to understand how difficult it is to be (and stay) fully informed. I began to wish that those "in the know" would summarize and report out what they observed. Without a timely source for summaries, I started to attend most meetings, often speaking during public participation. In May of 2017, with the help of other volunteers, we began posting agenda alerts and meeting summaries on our Facebook page, D41-411.

PTA Council

In November of 2017, I led a workshop with PTA Council to evaluate the alignment of PTA programs with the D41 Long Range Plan. At Lincoln, we then collaborated with Principal Schweikhofer to identify gaps in PTA programming and opportunities to shift focus.

District 41 Foundation

Through the work of 41 Forward, I found that many in our community wish to financially support our schools beyond taxpayer obligations. My work with the PTA confirmed that finding and highlighted difficulties in funding district-wide initiatives.

After organizing a few coffees to gauge interest in a District 41 Foundation, I co-led a planning workshop with Kathy Bayert. Our small group generated starting points for the foundation and identified next steps. The committee presented our plan to the D41 School Board in November 2018.

Support Jess

Request a yard sign, host a coffee, or help Jess in a number of ways...