Four incumbents are headed back to the school board at Wheeling Elementary District 21.
Phil Pritzker registered 2,620 votes, followed by Debbi McAtee with 2,594, Bill Harrison with 2,480, and Arlen Gould with 2,286, according to unofficial vote totals. Newcomer Kelly Beerheide of Arlington Heights trailed with 2,148.
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Pritzker, who has been on the board since 1989, is proud of money-saving steps the district has taken, including a contract with staff that saved $1.5 million with a first-year freeze on all salaries.
All the incumbents have vast experience on the board serving many years except McAtee, who was appointed last year. After voters passed a referendum about 10 years ago, the board promised it would not need additional money for five to seven years. In fact, it's been 11 years, with officials predicting a vote for extra taxes can be delayed another three or four years.
Difficult decisions the board has made include ending year-around school for part of the district because it did not make a significant difference in student academic progress, Pritzker said.
"We all work together for the children," he said. "Staff considers this to be a destination district. The quality of the personnel we attract really shows," he said
Beerheide congratulated the incumbents, thanked voters and said, "I will continue to support our schools in every way I can and will give input and suggestions."
District 21's dozen elementary and middle schools and an early learning center serve students from Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Northbrook, Prospect Heights and Wheeling.