Endorsement in Palatine Elementary District 15: Ader, Khan, Palit
An extremely impressive field of candidates is running for three seats on the board of education in Palatine Elementary District 15 in the April 2 election.
Although that field is sizable -- eight candidates -- the climate is congenial, in stark contrast to the acrimonious tenor of two years ago when incumbents were ousted in response to a teacher contract that obligated the school system for 10 years and a disastrous bond issue that voters overwhelmingly rejected.
Only one incumbent is on the ballot -- attorney Zubair Khan of Hoffman Estates, who was first elected in 2015. He was part of the board actions that provoked our criticism in 2016 and the angry voter backlash in 2017.
Still, he was relatively new to the board at the time, and we trust he learned from that tumultuous year. His vision of the school district's challenges is so impressive, we simply have to endorse him for re-election.
Khan's a strong advocate for full-day kindergarten and has great insight into complex equity issues and the goal to reduce the achievement gap between some segments of the student body. He's a great asset to the board.
Beyond that, voters have a number of great choices among the other seven candidates. They're all qualified and we found it difficult to finalize our recommendations.
In the end, our endorsements go to:
-- Technology manager Nina Palit of Palatine, who impressed us with the depth of her knowledge and views and who so eloquently summarizes the obligation of schools: "Education is what levels the playing field for kids no matter where they start in life."
-- Samantha Bray Ader, whose experience as operations director at Latinos for Education would be a valuable asset for the board. She, better than most of the candidates, puts a priority on community engagement, which will be essential as the school system grapples with the boundary challenges that lie ahead.
That said, it was hard to pass up the other candidates: Hoffman Estates Zoning and Planning Commissioner Adam Bauske, who received our endorsement two years ago; entrepreneur Yuriy Figel of Inverness; pharmacist Wenda Hunt of Palatine; health information technology manager Lisa Krams of Palatine; and occupational therapist James Taylor of unincorporated Arlington Heights. They're all good candidates and any one of them would serve well.