Endorsement: Klimkowicz, Bradley, Hinkle for District 211 school board

As is the case this spring with many school board elections, the race in Palatine-Schaumburg Townships High School District 211 has tended to get preoccupied with pandemic-spawned debates over remote-vs-classroom education.

It is a hot topic, to be sure, and the challenge to help students recover academically and emotionally from a year of schooling that has been diminished by COVID-19 is real and monumental.

All that said, the pandemic will in fact end - there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel now - and normalcy of some measure will return. In reviewing candidates for the board of education, it is important to remember that and to consider the broad spectrum of challenges facing District 211.

It is one of the state's largest school districts. It has high, although disparate, academic success. And to be sure, it operates with - and benefits from - a highly paid faculty and administration and resources that are the envy of many other school systems.

The ideal candidates for the school board are those who are devoted to quality education, who value fine teachers, who appreciate that school boards also are stewards of limited financial resources, who recognize inequities in academic outcomes and are committed to eliminating them, who embrace concrete metrics in assessing success and who work collaboratively.

That is a lot, and few candidates, or board members for that matter, reach that ideal.

In the April 6 election, three 4-year terms will be filled and voters will find nine candidates on the ballot.

One of them, Amy Nelson, an insurance executive from Palatine, announced just a few days ago that she is withdrawing because of the time commitments her job requires. That is unfortunate. She was one of our favorite candidates.

That leaves eight candidates for voters to consider: Curtis Bradley of Hoffman Estates, Jessica Hinkle of Schaumburg, Tim McGowan of Palatine, Kristen Steel of Hoffman Estates, Robi Vollkommer of Schaumburg, Denise Wilson of Hoffman Estates, Roxanne Wittkamp of Palatine and incumbent Anna Klimkowicz of Schaumburg.

Almost all of them are worthy candidates who would make good school board members.

Our endorsements go to Klimkowicz, Bradley and Hinkle.

Klimkowicz is a veteran of 24 years of service to the school board. Her priorities to focus on social emotional support for students, strong fiscal management, development of a new strategic plan and pursuit of an equity initiative reflect her extraordinary insights.

Bradley is an outstanding candidate with banking expertise, strong leadership ability, a history of support for youth and the schools, and an equity philosophy built around focusing innovatively on the needs of the whole student.

Hinkle wants to be the parent's voice on the school board. She wants District 211 to excel at the student experience it offers while being fiscally responsible and sees the two as inseparably linked.

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