Endorsements: Bashiri-Remetio, Boron, Veremis for OCC college board
Thirteen candidates are vying for three seats on the Oakton Community College board in the April 2 election.
Normally, when you have a race where that many people are running, some sort of controversy has stirred them up.
That's not the case in this election.
For the most part, the candidates strike us as well-intentioned people who are interested in higher education and motivated primarily by a wish to serve.
Only one of the 13 is an incumbent: Kyle Frank of Skokie, who is completing his first term.
Current Board Chair Joan DiLeonardi of Des Plaines is not running for re-election after 18 years on the board. Neither is Des Plaines native Anne Tennes of Skokie who is finishing her 12th year on the board.
The benefit of such a large field of candidates is that there are a number of strong candidates to choose from -- many more than the number of seats to be filled.
We're intrigued by a number of the candidates. Glenview retiree Allan Cohen, a member of the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Governing Council, is a distinguished and thoughtful candidate with strong management and finance skills. Gail Bush of Evanston, professor emeritus at National-Louis University in Skokie, onetime curriculum librarian at Maine West High School and former president of the Illinois Library Association, embraces Oakton's mission to provide access to quality education for a diverse community. Retired orthopedic surgeon Richard Geline of Glenview, a past president of the Illinois State Medical Society, argues that finances should not be allowed to be an obstacle to educational opportunities.
They're all good candidates. Our endorsements go to a mix of candidates who have backgrounds we believe can help best connect with the student experience -- whether it's the degree candidate or the mature student in need of retraining:
-- Theresa Bashiri-Remetio, a financial analyst from Morton Grove and co-chair of the Oakton Alumni Council, who impresses us with her advocacy of supporting students beyond their academic needs.
-- Robert Boron, a Northbrook attorney and former school board member for Northfield Township High School District 225, who combines a long commitment to education and youth development with an experience and expertise in public policy and finance.
-- Cynthia Veremis, president of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, whose human resources work enables her to understand the needs and challenges of adult students at all staged in life.
An interesting group of 13 candidates are running for the OCC board. We endorse Bashiri-Remetio, Boron and Veremis as the best of them.