With Joyce Fountain and Dale Spencer deciding not to run for re-election, the makeup of the Elgin Area School District U-46 board will change dramatically this year. Board President Donna Smith, a 12-year board veteran, is the only incumbent in the race, facing five challengers — all passionate and informed, and one of them still a high school senior. Smith points to the push to get more students in AP classes — and their success in placing out of college classes — as a way the district is providing opportunities at minimal cost. We endorsed Gary Percy two years ago, but voters have rejected him twice at the polls and there are stronger alternatives this go-round. Veronica Noland has served on the PTO and worked with both the district’s Citizens Advisory Council and Hispanic Parent Leadership Insitute. She is knowledgeable and sensible. Bartlett village trustee Frank Napolitano is conservative on all levels and once pushed for the advisory referendum to separate Bartlett from U-46. But he says until Springfield is open to that idea, his goal is to improve the school district for all stakeholders. Smith, Noland and Napolitano are endorsed. Also running are ECC admissions coordinator Linda Campos Moreira and student Andrew Giggey.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.