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posted: 7/6/2010 12:01 AM

Former board member returns to Glen Ellyn District 41

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  • John Kenwood

    John Kenwood


A former Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board member will return to the panel to replace a member elected last year who resigned for personal reasons.

John Kenwood will replace Jack Kahler, who stepped down June 11 as the result of a business-related move to California.

Kenwood served on the board from 2005 until his failed re-election bid in 2009. He signed a written oath and will take a verbal one at the board's Aug. 2 meeting.

Superintendent Ann Riebock said Kenwood's return should make the transition go smoothly.

"We are very grateful to have John back," she said. "With his experience, and he's a great questioner, we won't have to skip a beat."

Kenwood will remain on the board until a special election next spring. Voters will fill three 4-year terms up for re-election and a 2-year stint to finish Kahler's term.

The district is in the process of renewing its long-range plan, Riebock said, and Kenwood's appointment should not stop any progress on that front.

"He is very familiar with our long-range plan," she said. "He brings with him a very high interest (level) and years of experience with educational issues. He just has a strong interest in public education."

President Steve Vondrak said six people applied for the position, including two who had been previous board members.

"It wasn't like there was a repudiation of his previous board work," Vondrak said, noting that Kenwood barely missed on his re-election bid. "On the flip side, he did previously win an election so he was properly vetted by the community."

Vondrak said much of the district's major work, such as next year's budget, is well under way. With the position essentially a nine-month appointment, he said the board preferred a candidate with experience and a quick learning curve. The board voted 6-0 to approve the appointment.

"We wanted to get someone in who could hit the ground running," Vondrak said.

"Every one of the applicants had good qualities and reasons you would want them on the board," Vondrak said. "(But) John was the best one to come in. I hope the folks that did apply continue to show interest and will consider running in the special election."