Endorsements: Simek, Robinette, Novey, Weisgram for District 44 school board

Two incumbents and three challengers are vying for four, 4-year seats on the Lombard Elementary District 44 School Board.

Board President Courtney Simek and board member James Robinette, along with Sarah Novey, Cary Weisgram and Daniel Tiltges, appear on the April 6 ballot.

Simek, seeking her third term, has guided the group through various challenges, including the hiring of Superintendent Ted Stec in 2017 and the COVID-19 outbreak last year. She worked closely with Stec on a cautious plan, based on input from parents and teachers, to safely open the schools. Helming the board is aided by her experience as executive director of a senior living community. She should be reelected.

Robinette, a principal in LaGrange School District 102, brings experience as an educator to the District 44 board. With two children in District 44, he had a unique insight into the pandemic-related challenges and said he relied on feedback from parents and staff before making decisions. Over the next four years he has an eye on budgetary spending to insure the district doesn't face a financial crisis. He should be reelected.

Novey is a former science teacher and mother of two children enrolled in District 44. She feels she could work well within the current makeup of the school board, which she said did a good job navigating the pandemic. She is a member of the PTA and serves on the committee for dual language in the schools. Looking ahead, she feel the district should explore energy saving options in the schools, leading to a reduced carbon footprint. She should be elected.

Weisgram, who has a child attending the district, said he is impressed with the spirit of volunteerism in Lombard. He's a former educator who taught in Chicago Public Schools and District 214. He works for an education non-profit focusing on technology. He said school districts often buy technology but don't follow up on its uses. He feels he could guide the district in the purchase and use of technology while ensuring the right people are in place to operate it. He should be elected.

Tiltges did not respond to requests to discuss his candidacy making it impossible to endorse him.

We endorse Simek, Robinette, Novey and Weisgram for District 44 School Board.

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