Past Caucuses‎ > ‎

Endorsed Candidate Bios 2014-2015

Press Release on Endorsements


Caucus Endorses Three Candidates for DPS 109 Board of Education

DEERFIELD (Saturday, December 6) — The Deerfield Public Schools (DPS) District 109 Caucus voted to endorse three candidates for the 109 Board of Education on Tuesday, December 2. The candidates will be running for the three open 109 school board seats in the April 7 consolidated election. Each seat is for a four‐year term.

They are (in alphabetical order):

• Kenneth Ashman

• Nicholas Begley

• Jodi Shapira

Following two rounds of interviews on November 18 and December 2 with each of the candidates who applied for endorsement, 17 Caucus members slated the candidates late Tuesday night after nearly three hours of deliberation.

“This slate of candidates is uniquely qualified—a lawyer with a teaching background and experience with special needs children, a former teacher with a master’s degree in curriculum, and a seasoned board member with a strong financial background bringing continuity—all of whom we believe will add value to the Board with their skill sets and backgrounds, said O’Neal Miller, Caucus chair. “We are confident that they will do an outstanding job of representing our community, and in particular, all of our students.”

Kenneth Ashman, a business litigation attorney, is also a due process hearing officer for the Illinois State Board of Education and holds an undergraduate degree in education. He has lived in the area for 13 years and resides in Riverwoods. Two of his four children are attending DPS 109 schools.

Nicholas Begley, a commercial banker, has lived in Deerfield for 23 years, and one of his four children is currently in DPS 109 schools. He has a master’s degree in management and has been a member of the 109 Board since 2006 and has served on the Board’s finance and facilities development committees.

Jodi Shapira, currently works in the retail sector and is a former teacher with experience in writing and evaluating curricula and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She has three children, one of whom currently attends DPS 109 schools, and is a 17-year resident of Deerfield.

The three 109 Board of Education seats that will be up for election are currently held by Nicholas Begley, Bennett Brenner, and Steve Schwartz.

More biographical information will be made available about the three endorsed candidates on the 109 Caucus website,, in the coming weeks.

The DPS District 109 Caucus is an open forum comprised of volunteer citizens from within the community and is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to maintaining and expanding the tradition of excellence manifest in Deerfield's elementary and middle schools, with its role in candidate endorsement at the core of its commitment to the citizens and students served by District 109 schools.

For more information, please visit