Endorsements: Hasler, Vong Salton and Frantz in District 68
Oak Grove Elementary District 68 has a reputation for small classes, individual attention and art, music and foreign language education for even the youngest students. But enrollment is dropping, costs are rising and curriculum changes, especially in junior high, have some parents up in arms.
Voters are fortunate to have five qualified candidates competing for three seats on the board of education. However, we endorse Lane Hasler, Elaine Vong Salton and Amy Frantz as particularly well suited to move the 800-student school district forward.
Hasler, the lone incumbent in the group, helped improve financial data collection and oversight by the board. He insists the board should levy taxes for what the schools need, rather than automatically levying the maximum amount of taxes. He helped put in place a deal to share a business manager with Libertyville Elementary District 70, and the two school districts have expanded that to other services.
Vong Salton's knowledge of school initiatives and her strategic approach to problem solving will serve District 68 well. She has volunteered in numerous important school roles, including as a founding member of the Oak Grove School Education Foundation and in 2013 as a member of the school district's strategic planning team. One focus for her is developing processes for evaluating and selecting new curricula. Both Frantz and Anthony M. Giamis are qualified for the third open seat on the board of education. We give Frantz the edge for her involvement on the school PTO board and other volunteer efforts.
Fifth candidate Martin Jacobs is retired from Waukegan District 60, serves on Green Oaks' Safety Committee and has a wife and son employed by District 68. His expertise could serve District 68 well, but he has yet to attend a school board meeting and we're confident the other candidates are better prepared to step in.