Winners of three board seats at Grayslake Elementary District 46 may have more than finance or curriculum on their plates when they get down to work as part of a new team.
Kip Evans and Shannon Smigielski are the newcomers who with incumbent Susan Facklam won the three, 4-year terms that officially start in May. Incumbent Mary Garcia and a third political newcomer, Marchell Norris, fell short.
Facklam said the election that had her aligned with Garcia against the political first-timers was nastier than she had anticipated. She said major issues such as finance are just part of the job ahead when the newly formed board is seated.
"I think this district is going to go through a big healing process first. This campaign has not been good for this district," said Facklam, an on-hiatus registered nurse from Grayslake who was first elected to the District 46 board in 2003.
Evans, a retired teacher from Grayslake, said is he ready to get to work and willing to meet with board members who don't share his views and may not have supported his candidacy.
He was singled out at a District 46 meeting last month by board member Ray Millington, who criticized public comments Evans made about outgoing Chief School Business Official David Tylavsky. Board members recently accepted Tylavsky's resignation.
Evans spoke at a March meeting and claimed Tylavsky told him he was fired, then demanded answers from the school board. At the following meeting, Millington read a letter into the record from Tylavsky refuting Evans' comments.
While continuing to stand by the accuracy of how he portrayed his conversation with Tylavsky, Evans declined to specifically address Millington.
Smigielski, a school bus driver from Hainesville, said the board needs to know how to operate properly by following Robert's Rules of Order more than extending olive branches to each other for anything that happened during the campaign.
"I don't know that there has to be an airing of the grievances," Smigielski said. "I think that is something that can fracture things further."
Smigielski said she hopes she can get her new colleagues to alter how board meetings are run to be more responsive to the community. She said elected officials should respond when someone airs a concern at a meeting, which is opposite of what's recommended by the privately operated Illinois Association of School Boards lobbying organization.
Evans said one change he wants is an announcement or written release of names after employees are hired or fired in a public vote. Board members typically make a vague reference to "personnel report as presented" in such votes.