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posted: 3/21/2013 5:00 AM

Endorsements: Bradford, Brown Dykstra, Ormond for West Aurora Unit District 129

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West Aurora Unit District 129 has had a tough couple of years dealing with the conviction of a former band director for having sexual relationships with two of his former students and the subsequent lawsuits and investigations into how complaints about the teacher were handled. Couple that with complaints the school district's administration and board have strained relations with staff and the community, and it's not surprising that seven people are seeking three 4-year seats on the school board in the April 9 election. That said, however, we believe two of the three incumbents deserve re-election. We also believe they need to dedicate more of their time and effort to proactively listening to all district stakeholders. Neal Ormond is the current board president and an 18-year member. His wealth of knowledge and experience is important to keep. Mark Bradford is seeking a second term. He recognizes that the district needs to rebuild trust. For the third slot, we choose Valerie Brown Dykstra, a local attorney and school volunteer who will bring a different voice and perspective to the board as she is not a fan of the current administration. While he is well intentioned, Jonathon Wood, despite eight years on the board, does not have as strong a grasp of the issues as we think is needed at a time like this. Also running are George Dyche, William Passalaqua and Robert Patterson.

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