Incumbents a lock in Lisle Unit District 202
Lisle Unit District 202 incumbents surged ahead in Tuesday's election with all three sitting board members retaining their seats.
With seven candidates running for four, 4-year spots, board members Meg Sima, Bob Tarasewicz and Eunice McConville led the pack with 1,406, 1,184 and 1,170 votes, respectively, according to unofficial totals from all 21 precincts.
Newcomer Melissa Grant won a seat on the board with 1,039 votes. Challengers Daniel Helderle received 995 votes, Mark Kelly got 918, and Wendie Ferron had 910.
Among the new board's priorities will be deciding the fate of a proposal to build a $39 million elementary school on the former Meadows school site. Supporters reason the project could be funded by borrowing money once the district's current debts are paid off in 2018.
"I really do want to see us moving forward with the building," Sima said. "I think it's important and a good thing for the district. But it's important to stay on budget and we'll keep a careful eye on that.
"The next biggest issue is -- we want to see test scores improve. We'll see what the best practices are in other districts."
Tarasewicz, an electrical engineer, was first elected in 2005. He thinks the board should not be content with just being good but needs to change its mindset and create a culture of high expectations.
McConville is an accountant who has served on the board since 2012. She chairs the board's finance committee and backs construction of an elementary school at the former Meadows site.
Sima, an attorney, was appointed to the board in September 2015 and participated in Vision 202, which studied the district's building and educational needs. She thinks the district needs to do more for students from lower-income families.
Grant is a front desk attendant and volunteer who's involved in the district's parent/school organization. She thinks her civil engineering background will assist in making hard decisions requiring cost/benefit analysis and fiscal constraint when it comes to the new school.
Helderle is a software development project manager who volunteered with Vision 202. He hopes to help the district achieve higher test scores and thinks good teachers are crucial for students to succeed.
Ferron works at a marketing firm and served on the District 202 calendar committee. She said she will stress student-focused decision making and develop specific and attainable goals to increase student proficiency and growth.
Kelly is a mechanical engineer who thinks his 20 years of experience in the school design industry would be a plus for the board. He said keeping the school project within its budget will be crucial.
Incumbent board President Pamela Ahlmann was unopposed for a two-year term on the board.