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Board of Trustees

The Waukegan Public Library is a component unit of the City of Waukegan. It is governed by a nine member board who are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Waukegan and approved by the City Council.  Annually, before the first of July, the Mayor shall appoint or re-appoint three trustees.

It is the duty of each of the members of the Board of Trustees to carry out the spirit and intent of the Illinois Local Library Act in maintaining a public library and for providing library service to the residents of the city.

For further information regarding the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, please contact Mr. Richard Lee, Executive Director, at 847-623-2041, ext. 250, or at richardlee [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.

The Board of Trustees of the Waukegan Public Library

Jacqueline E. Herrera Giron, Esq.
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2012-2018
Current Board Position: President

Jacqueline Herrera Girón is an attorney currently dedicated to her private practice in Gurnee, Illinois. Prior to moving into private practice she worked in as an immigrant rights advocate and attorney in the nonprofit sector. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Fr. Gary Graf Center dedicated to helping immigrants in the Lake County Community and prior to that she worked with the Lake County Public Defender’s office where she created a program to address the requirements of the Supreme Court decision Padilla v Kentucky, advising immigrants of their consequences due to criminal convictions.

Jacqueline has also worked at the National Immigrant & Justice Center, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, the Chicago Legal Clinic, and as Immigrant Services Director at Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries. She has represented and assisted immigrants from all parts of the globe in immigration and citizenship matters.


Charmaine Harris, Ph.D.
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2010-2016
Current Board Position:  Vice-President

Charmaine Harris has devoted more than 25 years of professional service in a variety of educational settings from PreK through college. The product of such service has been focused in urban educational environments where students and their families have been afforded her dedication to insuring they experience the benefits of quality educational programming.  Charmaine graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Eastern Illinois University, and lastly The Ohio State University. Each stop on her educational journey was filled with supportive individuals who understood the importance of “paying it forward”.  Charmaine is a proud resident of the Waukegan community where she extends her personal service to area families through a variety of community service initiatives which include serving as a Trustee of the Waukegan Public Library Board, a board member of the Waukegan 2 College program, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 


Jesus Ruíz
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2012-2017
Current Board Position: Treasurer

Jesus Ruíz has been a citizen of Waukegan for over 20 years. He is a proud graduate of Waukegan High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. He recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Jesus is the Vice-President of the Latino Coalition of Lake County and is currently working at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science as a Community Relations and Special Projects Officer. 


Claudia Freeman
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2014-2018
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Claudia Freeman was born and raised in Waukegan and over the years has spent many hours at the Carnegie Library, as well as, the library in its current location.  She is a product of the Waukegan school system, is a graduate of Waukegan High School and has degrees in the field of Parks and Recreation Administration from George Williams College and Aurora University.  Claudia is currently the Superintendent of Cultural Arts for the Waukegan Park District and she also sits on the board of the Waukegan Arts Council.  Prior to returning to employment in Waukegan, she was the Recreation Supervisor for the Gurnee Park District.  Ms. Freeman is a strong advocate for the arts and arts education. She sees literacy as vital to the growth and the strength of any community and she will advocate for a strong literacy program through the Waukegan Public Library.  


Erick Rivera
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2015-2018
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Erick Rivera has been a resident of  Waukegan for over twenty years. He attended the Waukegan Public school system, and is a proud graduate of the Waukegan High School. After graduating from Waukegan High, he attended DeVry University, where he obtained  his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been a volunteer of many organizations in Waukegan, such as the Waukegan Park District and Waukegan Main Street.  During his free time, Erick enjoys playing the bass guitar and spending time with family and friends. 


John Stein
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2008-2017
Current Board Position: Trustee

John Stein is originally from Arizona and has resided in Waukegan since 2004. After grad school, he worked for Motorola for a number of years. He currently is an engineer for an Illinois based medical device company. He believes literacy is a key component a person needs to have in their set of skills in today’s working environment. Besides his engineering background, John has a strong financial and economic background. He has served on several other boards over the last 15 years. John enjoys woodworking, returning his historic home more towards its original state, and records live music performances.
Mary Stickels
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2015-2017
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Mary Stickels has worked in the office of the Lake County Recorder of Deeds for 18 years. Before this, she worked in the private sector, as a Service Manager for Jewel Foods, for a cleaning company for both businesses and private homes (which she started herself!), as an assistant to the VP and an administrative assistant to the Human Resources Manager for a company that did actuarial benefit planning for major corporations, and she also was an assistant to the Marketing Manager for a company involved in credit card development and account services. Mary has a strong work ethic and superb customer service skills that have proved invaluable in all of the positions she has held in her working career, and it is these same skill sets that make her an asset to the Board of Trustees. Mary is no stranger to the Board, as she previously held the positions of both Trustee and President. She says, without hesitation, that her time on the Board “was a wonderful and gratifying experience” and that she is looking forward to lending her support to Richard Lee, the library’s Executive Director. 
Verna Wilson
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2008-2016
Current Board Position: Trustee

As a native Chicagoan, I have the distinct honor of living in Waukegan for the past 16 years and working for the Waukegan Public School District. I’m blessed with a teenage daughter (Alana) who attends Waukegan High School’s College Studies Program. My cumulative 24 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher, principal, director, and currently as a district administrator exemplifies my passion for literacy. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Workforce Development & Education from Southern Illinois University. I earned a second Masters degree from Aurora University in Educational Leadership and I’m currently a PhD candidate in Executive Leadership at the University of Illinois. My service on the WPL Board represents my ongoing commitment to literacy as both my professional and personal lifelong goal is to empower others with knowledge.
Pete Zaragoza
wplboard [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (Email)
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2007-2016
Current Board Position: Trustee

My background is in education, having served as an administrator at City Colleges of Chicago, Argosy University and Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  My professional relationship with the Library began during my years at City Colleges.  An innovative program combining City College personnel, WYCC broadcasts and Chicago Public Libraries provided media based instruction through libraries across Chicago.  My involvement continued as a board member and officer of the Friends of the Waukegan Public Library.  As a Trustee for the Waukegan Public Library, I continue to serve as an advocate for libraries and education.


Board Committees: 

Jesus Ruíz, Chair
John Stein

Pete Zaragoza, Chair
Claudia Freeman 

Verna Wilson, Chair
Jackie Herrera Giron



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