Contest in District 204; slow start to filing in District 203
Indian Prairie Unit District 204 voters already are guaranteed a contested race after the first day of candidate filing for the spring election, while only two Naperville Unit District 203 incumbents have turned in their paperwork.
Four candidates, only two of whom are incumbents, filed first thing Monday morning at Indian Prairie. President Curt Bradshaw and Vice President Alka Tyle are each seeking their second full-term. Bradshaw was appointed in 2005, Tyle in 2006 and both were first elected in 2007.
"I truly believe District 204 can be the best in the state and I would like to be part of ensuring we reach that goal," Bradshaw said. "We are an incredibly strong district and have made significant progress toward that goal, but we are not there yet."
Tyle also wants to see 204 be the top district and said she believes she can help get it there.
"My understanding of the district's strengths and needs of our students would be helpful in maintaining that focus," Tyle said. "It's a long process."
Challengers Mark Rising and Lori Price both say they are driven by the passion they have for the district that serves their children and portions of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Plainfield. This will be Price's first campaign while Rising fell 105 votes short in the 2009 race.
"I want to be an important part of moving this district forward," Rising said. "And with my involvement in the district over the last few years and the belief I have in the district, I believe I can make a difference."
Price, a parent of a special needs student, said she has recently found her passion in advocacy for the district.
"I've been an advocate of special needs students and their parents for the last four years and it's time to take that commitment to the next level and advocate for all. I have two kids in the district and one with special needs so I bring both perspectives to the table."
A third incumbent, Mark Metzger, said he will not seek re-election.
In Naperville Unit District 203, board President Mike Jaensch and board member Terry Fielden were the first in line to file their paperwork.
Jaensch, looking to be elected to his second term, said he's not finished.
"This is an ongoing job that ideally doesn't end after one term," Jaensch said. "After one term and serving as president, I know I have the time and experience to dedicate to the district as we wrap up our major facilities project at (Naperville) Central and continue to have a balanced budget and healthy reserve."
Fielden said he has "really enjoyed" his first term and also wants to see some projects he's led through completion.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the completion of the renovations at Naperville Central and I want to see the district focus more on technology upgrades for our high school students," he said. "I would like to see more of an effort to apply the learning methods proven at one school across the district. Each of our neighborhood schools seems to have an educational focus that excels."
A total of three 4-year seats will be open for election in each district this April. Filing closes at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20.