Incumbent, two newcomers win in Palatine District 15
An incumbent and two newcomers won 4-year seats Tuesday to the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 school board in what candidates say was a cordial election.
Eight candidates competed for three board seats in Tuesday's election. On the ballot were incumbent Zubair Khan and challengers Samantha Bray Ader, Adam Bauske, Yuriy Figel, Wenda Hunt, Lisa Krams, Nina Palit and James Taylor.
Unofficial results show Ader with 4,647 votes, followed by Khan at 3,643. Hunt pulled in the third seat with 3,235 votes over Bauske with 3,229. Following were Palit with 3,180, Taylor with 2,561, Krams at 2,456 and Figel with 899.
Hunt and Ader supported each other in the campaign, as did Khan and Bauske.
Ader said she went across the district meeting voters in a desire to learn concerns and represent all residents on the school board. She said she looks forward to working with incoming Superintendent Laurie Heinz and her deputy, Stephanie Daly.
She said it'll be a good opportunity to "take a step back and think where we want the future of the district to be."
Ader, 30, a Hoffman Estates resident who's director of operations at Latinos for Education, said at the top of her list is closing academic gaps across lines of race, ethnicity and income. She also said rebuilding trust with support employees and addressing facility issues were important.
Khan, 42, an attorney from Hoffman Estates who was elected in 2015, listed adding full-day kindergarten and addressing the achievement gap and possible boundary changes among his priorities.
"We hit those three points hard a lot," Khan said.
Ader and Khan said found the campaign to be cordial.
"Not all races are like that," Ader said. "And several of us were first-time candidates and didn't know what to expect."
In his first election, said Khan, outside groups with dogmatic positions were involved with candidates in a more contentious time.
Palit, 47, a technology manager from Palatine, said she would prioritize keeping strong music programs, accepting and figuring out how to work with District 15's student diversity and all-day kindergarten.