Meet Elías

I was born in New Jersey and raised in Puerto Rico. I’ve been an Oak Park resident since 2019 after moving from New Jersey with my spouse and two children. We made Oak Park our place of residence because of the reputation of its schools and community.

Prior to moving to Oak Park, I attended graduate school at Princeton Theological Seminary, where I completed a Masters of Divinity degree and earned a Ph.D. in Doctoral in Religious and Social Ethics. At the end of my studies, I went on to teach at Drew University, Theological School where I served as Associate Professor of Religious Ethics and Social Theory. 

Teaching at Drew afforded me unique opportunities for creating bridges between the school and community organizations. I taught courses that allow students to engage in developing digital literacy skills, democratic living, and civic responsibility through service-learning. My students and I regularly participated in community programs that removed barriers to success for Black and Brown children in Math and Science. We also participated in initiatives that brought awareness of issues impacting the community at large, like health outcomes in the community, racial profiling, and ecological concerns. With my students, we co-created spaces where academic excellence and civic responsibility strengthened one another. 

The opportunity to give back to the community where I lived and develop projects of collaborative impacts that help all of us thrive was key to my formation as an educator, a youth advocate, and a Higher Ed. Administration. I value the contributions that schools make to their communities and that perspective will inform my work if elected to the D200 Board of Education.