Endorsements: Avila, Fingerhut, Goldman for Mundelein Dist. 75 schools
For the first time in more than a decade, Mundelein District 75 has a contest for school board. In fact, seven candidates, including the incumbents, are running for three 4-year terms.
Alexandria Avila, 35, who is the only woman and only Hispanic on the board, is seeking her second term. In a district that is more than 50 percent Hispanic, her presence has been a valuable addition. She has worked hard in her first term to learn the intricacies of school governance, attending training sessions with the Illinois State Association of School Boards. She says the district does a good job of serving the average and above average kids, but wants it to do better with students who have problems.
Fred Goldman, 52, was elected four years ago as a write-in, running because there weren't enough candidates. He's become a leader on the board, serving as vice president and as board representative in negotiating a four-year teachers contract. While board discussions can be feisty and pointed, he believes members do a good job in coming to consensus and speaking with one voice in the end.
Avila and Goldman are easy choices for endorsements and in some years Matthew Rehm, 50, who is seeking his third term would be, too. He's often the odd man out in discussions, but the board benefits from his critical voice.
In this case, though, there are several very strong candidates, and we feel one of them should get a voice.
Our choice is Kristie Fingerhut, 41, managing partner of a family law practice and an active parent, who has three children in the district.
In the candidate questionnaire and the endorsement session, she showed depth of knowledge about the district and an ability to articulate her positions on the issues.
Also outstanding was Lisa St. Clair, 52, with a 15-year history of volunteerism with the district in all kinds of roles.
Jessica Neyzelman, mother of a special-needs child, likes what the district is doing and wants to further its success.
The seventh candidate, Elisa Camp, has a background in art education, but had fewer ideas to offer than the others.