Endorsements: Munda, Conway, Drake in Warren District 121
Two years ago, the Warren Township High School District 121 race did not attract enough candidates on the ballot to fill the four open seats, and a write-in candidate was elected with only a few dozen votes. Voters will have more choices in the April 7 election, as the ballot includes four candidates to fill three, 4-year terms.
Incumbents Michael Munda, who was appointed to the board in 2009, and Barb Conway, who won a seat four years ago, are joined by newcomers Thomas Drake and Monika Bobo. Incumbent David Grum is not seeking re-election. All of the candidates have expressed concern about the uncertain financial future facing education and the need for the district to be prepared.
Munda and Conway are respected and engaged school board members in the large, diverse district, where the financial house is order, there's an emphasis on current technology at the two campuses and students are offered a host of educational and extracurricular opportunities. Both are knowledgeable and prepared on board issues. They ask questions and are discussion leaders.
Munda, who is principal of the Lake County Regional Office of Education's Safe School Program, stresses the need for more parental involvement and offers ideas for encouraging that. Conway, an audiologist, sees a need for the district to increase the number of school and community partnerships and school-to-business partner
ships. They are endorsed. Bobo, a Warren High grad and contractor for regulatory compliance and housing legal support, favors an increase in STEM education and extracurriculars. Drake, a business development director, urges the district to continue being proactive in offering parent and student workshops on important issues, such as use of texting and social media. Both seem to be sincere and prepared first-time candidates with good professional resumes and a history of civic involvement.
Drake has added experience to prepare for a move to elected office, having served on the Gurnee planning and zoning board. He is endorsed.