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posted: 3/24/2013 5:00 AM

Endorsements: DiOrio, Dresser, Grosso, Wilson for Geneva Unit Dist. 304 board

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The school system in Geneva Unit District 304 has its challenges. What school system doesn't have them these days? But it's generally well run. Academic achievement is strong. The school board is increasingly mindful of expenses. Unfortunately, given the polarization in the community, that's sometimes hard to recognize. Teachers aren't the enemy. Taxpayers aren't the enemy. We need school board members who celebrate and value both. With that in mind, we endorse Jeffrey DiOrio, Fred Dresser and incumbents Mark Grosso and Bill Wilson for four seats on the school board. There are other good candidates in the field of eight. We're tempted, for example, by the common-sense candidacies of David Lamb and Robert Cabeen. But it's hard to rate them higher than our four choices. Grosso and Wilson have done the hard work of balancing the district's educational mission with its tax base realities. They've sometimes received more grief than thanks for that effort; what they deserve to receive now is re-election. DiOrio and Dresser are on opposite sides of their careers -- DiOrio barely just started, Dresser winding his down. That gives each meaningful but different perspectives, but we're impressed also by how similar their philosophies tend to be. Each is absolutely inspiring in their embrace of the role education plays in a person's life. Each is doggedly pragmatic about the limits there are in the resources to provide that education. They would be great school board members. Two other candidates are running, Daniel Garrett and former board member Leslie Juby; both are qualified by credentials but we fear their elections would play, perhaps unwittingly, to the acrimony that unfairly clouds the atmosphere in District 304.

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