Geneva 304 school board seats new members
The Geneva Unit District 304 school board is back to full force after welcoming two new members this week.
Molly Ansari and Paul Radlinski, both of Geneva, were sworn in as school board members at a special meeting Tuesday. They were selected to fill vacancies left by Taylor Egan, former school board president, and Alicia Saxton. Both women resigned their posts after the district called an emergency day off school on Feb. 7 following a downstate judge's ruling on the mask mandate for schools.
Ansari and Radlinski were chosen from 17 candidates who applied to fill the vacancies. They will serve until April 2023 election.
"I look at this as a tremendous honor," said Ansari, a clinical counselor who works with children of all ages in her private practice.
Ansari said she felt a calling to serve and hopes that her background as a counselor will help give voice to some of the struggles students may face.
"The world is adjusting to the last couple of years," said Ansari, whose two children, ages 2 and 4, will attend Geneva schools. "I just want to be an advocate and ensure that these kiddos are getting all the support that they need."
Radlinski, a recently retired chemical company executive, said he had been looking for a way to give back to his community when he saw the openings on the school board. His 39-year career involved extensive travel. Twice he and his family lived outside of the U.S.
Radlinski, who has three adult children, said his family had a "fantastic experience" with Geneva schools, adding that two of his three children graduated from Geneva High School. The third completed her high school career when the family was living in Shanghai.
Radlinski said his background in business and finance will help in his decision-making on the board. He also said he has a keen interest in the sciences and STEM.
The two board members will be part of the board's search for a new superintendent.
Superintendent Kent Mutchler announced he would be stepping down from his position at the end of the 2022-23 school year. Board members earlier this month hired a consultant to aid in the search for a new superintendent.
"That is one of the important things this school board is going to have to do to help guide our school district for the next few years," Radlinski said.