St. Charles District 303 board president ousted, three newcomers elected

 
 

In a race that became a battle of experience against a desire for change, voters ousted St. Charles Unit District 303 board President Kathleen Hewell, elected three newcomers, and retained the board Vice President Tuesday night, according to unofficial results.

With all precincts reporting, Rebecca McCabe finished tops in a five-person field with 2,417 votes.

Jillian Barker and Michael Bryant finished second and third, respectively, with 2,269 and 2,180 votes.

Three, 4-year seats were up for election, along with a two-year term.

Incumbent Nick Manheim, the board's vice president, garnered 2,295 votes to defeat challenger Poonam Gupta-Krishnan, who got 1,749 votes, for the two-year seat, according to unofficial results.

Newcomers Barker, Bryant and Seaman, in coordination with Gupta-Krishnan, worked together to share resources and campaign on promises of fresh ideas and more community involvement.

Meanwhile, pointing to solid finances and a handful of construction projects, Hewell and Manheim both said their strong track records as board members made them good re-election choices.

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Hewell, who was seeking her fifth term on the board, finished last in a five-person field with 1,947 votes.

McCabe, a former assistant superintendent with District 303, said her administrative experience would give her a unique perspective as a board member.

Building use has been a hot topic in the district over the last few years amid the school board's decisions to close schools and realign attendance boundaries. The shuttering of Haines Middle School is now at the forefront of discussions as board members debate whether to spend millions of dollars on repurposing portions of the building.

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