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updated: 4/9/2013 11:22 PM

Newcomer Villa to serve on West Chicago school board

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  • Karina Villa

      Karina Villa

  • Susan Stibal

      Susan Stibal


A former social worker for West Chicago Elementary District 33 will join her brother on the school board after being elected Tuesday along with three incumbents.

Newcomer Karina Villa received 1,683 votes to finish third among five candidates for four seats. The top vote-getter was Susan Stibal, with 1,809 votes, followed by fellow incumbents Brenda Vishanoff, 1,761, and Juliann Pearson, 1,663, according to unofficial results. Incumbent Christine Scheck finished fifth, posting 1,589 votes.

The campaign was under way as tensions mounted in District 33, resulting in a three-day teacher's strike in early February. The board ended 16 months of negotiations with a new retroactive contract that made concessions to teacher salaries and benefits but also saved the district about $2 million, according to school officials.

Villa's brother, Antonio Villa Jr., initially joined her in challenging the incumbents but dropped out of the race when he was appointed to a recent vacancy on the school board. The two had said they would bring diversity, fresh perspectives and financial stewardship to the district as it faced a $3 million budget shortfall because of declining property tax revenues and the state budget crunch.

Pearson, Scheck, Stibal and Vishanoff all said fiscal responsibility, student achievement and community engagement would be among their priorities if given another four years in office.

Scheck and Stibal have been board members since 2005. Vishanoff and Pearson joined the board in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

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