As an educator, a mother, and a longtime advocate for children, Mary Edly-Allen brings a hometown voice and a proven record of service to Springfield.
Mary grew up in a family of seven children. Her mother was a teacher, and her father was a laborer who spent 42 years working for the same company. Together, her parents instilled Mary with a solid work ethic and a passion for education.
After a scholarship made it possible for her to spend her junior year in high school studying in South America, Mary went to Northeastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a B.A. in education.
As a young mom, Mary stayed at home with her four sons and worked in our communities as a volunteer, giving her time to the PTO at her sons’ schools and leading a campaign to build a beautiful new public elementary school. She then went back to school and earned her master’s degree in education at National Louis University.
Since 2006, Mary has worked in bilingual education in the Grayslake public schools, helping the young children of immigrant families to build their English language skills and prepare for a lifetime of success, both in school and in their future careers.
As a volunteer, Mary co-founded a community organization that raises money and identifies new sources of funding to improve schools without increasing the burden on property owners. She also has worked to promote school diversity, to make sure that all students are welcomed and treated fairly in our public schools.
After the 2016 election, Mary realized that our community’s core values of fairness, integrity, and inclusiveness have come under attack by extremists, here in Illinois and nationwide. So, like thousands of women nationwide, she made the decision to step up and run for office.
As our State Representative in the 51st District, Mary Edly-Allen uses her voice to stand up for our students, our environment, and our fundamental rights as Americans.