Endorsements: Brown, Wasik, Reinoso, Westphal for Grayslake High School District 127 school board
In Grayslake High School District 127, five candidates are competing for four 4-year terms on the school board.
Edwin Brown, 54, is running for his third term, and Kathleen Conlon Wasik, 55, is running for her second.
Also running are Jonathan Reinoso, 23, Hal Sloan, 60, and Erin Westphal, 44.
Brown is board president and Conlon Wasik is board vice president. They are seasoned, active board members who are being responsible stewards of the district.
Property taxes are a major issue in the district. Both incumbents are looking at ways to hold taxes down. The district is benefiting from new state money under an evidence-based funding program that Conlon Wasik has been a big proponent of, working for it locally and statewide.
In addition, bonds for Grayslake North will be paid off in two years, and Brown and Wasik favor passing on the savings, spreading out building work and avoiding new projects, such as a theater, that would require a referendum.
We endorsed both of them four years ago; we do so again.
Among the other candidates, we endorse Reinoso and Westphal as offering the most thoughtful answers and system insights.
Reinoso, a high school Spanish teacher in Zion, attended Grayslake schools, is a fan of them and still has younger siblings in them.
He is very conscious of the need to address tax and budget issues. He also would like the district to explore a re-examination of the metrics that constitute success and having students do a senior capstone project in lieu of a final exam.
He would add ethnic diversity to the board in a district whose student body is about one-quarter Hispanic. He also would bring a voice closer to the age of the students.
Westphal, a political and pharmaceutical consultant, is a big fan of the system and its students, and wants to see it move into the top-tier districts like Stevenson. She also wants to be sure the district is connecting with all students.
At the same time, she worries about high taxes; one idea she'd like to explore is cutting costs through districts pooling their purchase of health care to get better rates.