Endorsements: Kennedy, Lucke, Hoff in Libertyville District 70
With a balanced budget, money in reserves and impressive student test scores, Libertyville Elementary District 70 would seem to be a tough place for a couple of newcomers to win seats on the school board. However, incumbents Jennifer Lund and Maryann Ovassapian will not seek re-election April 7, meaning at least two newcomers will take their places.
Incumbent Christopher Kennedy, an attorney, is joined on the ballot by challengers Amy Williams, the executive director of the nonprofit David Adler Music and Arts Center, Linda Lucke, a retired District 70 teacher, Greta Hoff, a teacher with Highland Park District 112, and Cheryl Carroll, an administrative assistant at Libertyville High School, in seeking one of three available 4-year terms.
Future issues for the district will include implementing the new full-day kindergarten program and continuing capital improvements at existing schools. Kennedy, who has been on the District 70 school board for eight years, is a clear choice. He is articulate, prepared and well-versed about district operations and issues. He said he's seeking re-election to help ensure continuity and stability on the school board and favors more foreign language instruction for younger elementary school students.
Of the newcomers, Lucke has extensive experience in elected office having served 10 years on each of the Fox Lake and Cook Memorial public library district boards. She believes that while the national Common Core curriculum is important, so is development of the whole child through access to art, music and physical education.
As a member of the district's strategic plan committee, Hoff is versed in the district's future focus. She, too, wants to push for improvements in the gifted and foreign language programs for younger elementary school-age children.
Williams has extensive involvement in organizations throughout the community and schools, while Carroll has been involved in District 70 parent groups.
That is important, but Lucke and Hoff are better prepared to contribute to the school board at this time. They are endorsed.