Endorsements: Besler, Morales, Sullivan in Dist. 207
Six candidates are running for three four-year terms on the Maine Township District 207 board, including the three incumbents. All except challenger Jill Dolan lauded the education their children got or are getting there.
Dolan said the district needs to fight the Common Core standards on what students should know, use remediation to improve bad teachers, cut expenditures and meet less frequently in closed session, but seemed the least knowledgeable about how the district actually works.
The other two challengers have stronger credentials. Chimanial Patel came from a small village in India to be an entrepreneur and financial controller. He is a voice for the extensive Asian community, and advocates for special needs and limited English students. Theresa "Teri" Collins, a former head of the chemistry department at Northwestern, is executive director of the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation, which works on teen drug abuse and mental health issues.
Incumbents Paula Besler and Pablo Morales were appointed to the board last year. Besler, director of community and health relations at Advocate Lutheran General, has a long record of public service and has shown strong interest in serving the district's various ethnic groups. Morales, a native of Puerto Rico and a senior manager at Walgreens, speaks to the need for the district to serve all, with special knowledge of its 20 percent Hispanic minority.
Sean Sullivan, a district native seeking his third term, brings that knowledge as well as his expertise as a Triton College administrator with 17 years of negotiating union contracts.
There is strength among the challengers in the race for District 207 school board, but re-electing the incumbents provides the best balance of experience, expertise, and sensitivity to the needs of all students in a diverse district. We endorse Besler, Morales and Sullivan.