Four incumbents face two challengers in race for four seats on the Stevenson District 125 board

The race for four, 4-year seats on the Stevenson High School District 125 school board has incumbents running as a team facing two challengers.

All candidates come with varying levels of experience. Only Kildeer resident Amy Neault, who was appointed five years ago and elected in 2019, has served more than a year on the Stevenson board.

Roni S. Ben-Yoseph of Lincolnshire, Shu (Grace) Cao of Buffalo Grove and Donald R. Tyer of Long Grove were appointed last year to fill vacancies and are seeking their first full terms. Buffalo Grove resident Nathan Libbey and Aaron Glenn of Hawthorn Woods round out the ballot.

Incumbents say the district is in a good place financially and in other areas, and want to keep things on a steady path. Challengers say they want to be the voice of the community and increase transparency.

The sprawling Lincolnshire-based District 125 comprises solely Stevenson High School with about 4,310 students. It serves all or parts of 15 communities including Long Grove and Prairie View and portions of Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Hawthorn Woods, Indian Creek, Kildeer, Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, Mettawa, Mundelein, Palatine, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills and Wheeling.

Ben-Yoseph, Cao and Tyer are sharing signs and resources with Neault as part of the Stevenson Forward ticket. They say they work well together and are seeking continued support for the stability and successes that make Stevenson a destination district.

Ben-Yoseph, a professor at Lake Forest College and yoga teacher, described Stevenson as a "high performing, well-functioning district."

She said she was planning to run in 2023 when she applied for and received the appointment and wants to continue serving to help ensure the district's mission of success for every student.

Cao, has a long history of volunteering and more than 20 years of experience with top corporations in financial, marketing and analytical areas.

She wants to maintain Stevenson's commitment to success for every student. As an Asian American, Cao said she brings a different viewpoint to the board and can be a voice for the 38% of Stevenson students of Asian descent.

Tyer is an attorney in the Lake County state's attorney's office and previously worked as a teacher, administrator and school consultant in the U.S. and abroad.

He says he is deeply committed to seeing schools in the area flourish and that his professional background allows him to "ask the right questions." Tyer said he isn't motivated by a particular issue but wants to leverage his skill and experience to help Stevenson continue to provide a "world-class education."

Libbey has served as secretary of the Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 school board since 2019. He is not seeking reelection and says the Stevenson board would be a natural progression. He has doctorate in public policy, has studied public health issues in schools and is an adjunct professor at Aurora University.

He say public education is an integral part of his life and wants to contribute in a meaningful way. He contended appointed board members have an advantage at election time and has been critical of incumbents' recent appearances together as being a violation of open meetings rules.

Glenn has a degree in finance and has owned and operated a residential remodeling business since 2007.

He says he wants to ensure the board provides financial transparency to show tax dollars are being used for the greatest benefit to students and the community.

Glenn says he wants to be an advocate for teachers, students and parents and maintain an open line of communication.

"I don't want there to be any barriers between the faculty and the board," he said.

Incumbents say there are no such barriers and there is a spirit of collaboration among parties.

"Stevenson is what it is because of the culture," Neault said. "Its culture is 'We' not us versus them."

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