Endorsement for Barrington Unit District 220: Altshuler, Collister-Lazzari, Wilcox
The focus in Barrington Unit District 220 leading up to the April 2 election is on the district's ambitious referendum asking for $185 million for renovations and building projects throughout the school system.
But important races for three seats on the board of education also are on the ballot, and given the departures of experienced hands, their elections take on added importance.
School board President Brian Battle of Barrington is stepping down after 16 years on the board and Joseph Ruffolo of South Barrington is leaving after eight. That's a lot of experience to give up, especially since the new board will be grappling either with how to proceed with all of the district's building projects or how to retrench if those projects fail to gain voter approval.
Five candidates are on the ballot, and all appear to be capable. We were impressed all-around by the level of constructive conversation during the group's interview with a representative of our Editorial Board. Each candidate clearly is focused on the welfare of the students in the school system.
All the candidates are supporting the referendum, although some would have preferred, for practical reasons, a lower price tag.
Our endorsements go to incumbent Angela Wilcox, an attorney from Barrington Hills who asks penetrating questions and shows meticulous judgment; pediatrician Barry Altshuler of North Barrington who long has been active with the district and who has a great depth of knowledge; and real estate broker Leah Collister-Lazzari of Barrington Hills, a frequent volunteer in the schools whose commitment is summed up by this quote from her website: "Barrington schools are nationally recognized for excellence and we want to keep it that way. Great schools strengthen our community."
Also running are Eva Cole, a financial analyst from Fox River Grove; and Mathew Gray, a self-employed Barrington resident and member of the Barrington Youth and Family Services Board, They're good candidates but not as well versed on District 220's challenges as the three we are endorsing.