Miller, Scarpino, McNicholas win seats on District 300 board
Incumbent Anne Miller of Algonquin and challengers David Scarpino of Hampshire and Mary McNicholas of West Dundee won three 4-year seats on the Community Unit District 300 school board.
With all precincts in Kane and McHenry counties reporting, unofficial results had Miller leading with 3,213 votes, closely followed by Scarpino with 3,197 votes and McNicholas with 3,126 votes. Trailing were Leslie LaMarca of Pingree Grove with 2,705 votes, incumbent Kathleen Burley of Algonquin with 2,657 votes, and Nicole Beyer of Algonquin with 2,021 votes.
During the campaign, the candidates said they would be open to considering creative scheduling -- an idea floated by the district's top educator.
The Algonquin-based school district serves nearly 21,000 students in 15 communities. Its leaders will be exploring a variety of scheduling options, including year-round classes, and adding an hour to the elementary school day or lengthening the school year to allow teachers the flexibility to provide student enrichment or remediation.
Burley is seeking her second term on the board and favors having more choices, including having the district's high schools function more like a college campus to give students the choice to take more classes.
Miller, 58, an attorney seeking her sixth term, said teachers need more instructional time with students in elementary grades and more time for training.
LaMarca, 47, who serves on the governing board of Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove, welcomes creative scheduling ideas.
Scarpino, 63, a retired District 300 associate superintendent, said a flexible schedule would affect employees' wages, hours and working conditions.
Beyer, 27, an assistant bowling team coach at Jacobs High School, proposes having a four-day school week so teachers can receive training on the fifth day.
McNicholas, 20, a 2014 graduate of Dundee-Crown High School, said adding an hour to the elementary school schedule might be challenging because students have limited attention spans, but she likes the idea of adding more instructional time and creative scheduling for high school students.
The candidates also agreed ongoing challenges with state education funding may force the district to tighten its belt and evaluate spending and programs.