District 203 choosing three returning, two new faces

  • Kristin Fitzgerald

    Kristin Fitzgerald

  • Donna E. Wandke

    Donna E. Wandke

  • Charles Cush

    Charles Cush

  • Paul Leong

    Paul Leong

  • Kristine Gericke

    Kristine Gericke

Updated 4/4/2017 11:20 PM

Three incumbents and two newcomers were elected Tuesday to the Naperville Unit District 203 school board.

In a five-way race for four 4-year seats, incumbents Kristin Fitzgerald, Donna Wandke and Charles Cush cruised to victory along with newcomer Paul Leong, based on unofficial final vote totals with all precincts reporting in DuPage and Will counties. Challenger Shirley DeCorte trailed the pack.


In the race for one available 2-year seat, Kristine Gericke easily defeated Robert Fieseler.

Fitzgerald led all candidates with 7,567 votes, with Wandke tallying 6,679, Cush receiving 5,567 and Leong getting 5,277. DeCorte finished with 4,788.

In the 2-year race, Gericke tallied 5,901 votes and Fieseler received 3,117.

The election brings a substitute teacher to the board along with a diverse viewpoint from the Asian-American community.

Fitzgerald, a 45-year-old policy advocacy consultant, and Wandke, a 47-year-old junior high ministry leader, said they are looking forward to finding ways to decrease achievement gaps.

Cush, a 46-year-old health care marketing executive who was appointed to the board last June, said he will make sure the district reflects community values.

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Leong, a 53-year-old financial analyst, said he wants to form more connections between the district and Asian-Americans and make sound financial decisions.

Gericke, a 44-year-old substitute teacher, said she wants to put her background in education to positive use.

Newly elected board members will serve under President Terry Fielden and Vice-President Mike Jaensch.

The school board is recovering from a period of discord that began in September 2015 and led to the resignation of former board member Suzyn Price in June 2016. Cush was appointed after Price resigned, but the remainder of her unexpired term now was up for election as the 2-year seat.

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