Three newcomers shift balance of power in Glen Ellyn District 41
The election of three newcomers to the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board has reversed the balance of power on the panel.
With all 38 precincts unofficially counted, newcomers Jessica Buttimer, Edward "Ted" Estes and Julie Hill were the top voter-getters for three seats on the panel.
Incumbents Stephanie Clark and Kurt Buchholz lost their seats by a wide margin.
Unofficial vote totals showed Buttimer with 2,575 votes, Estes with 2,551 votes, Hill with 2,509 votes, Clark with 1,410 votes and Buchholz with 1,266 votes.
Clark, the current board president, and Buchholz, the panel's vice president, have led a four-member majority that has banded together on most decisions. The incumbents ran as a slate against Buttimer, Estes and Hill.
During the campaign, the Clark-Buchholz slate disagreed with the challengers on nearly every major issue.
Clark and Buchholz took a hard line on taxes, saying they've pushed for fiscal discipline and initiatives to improve a "failing" special education program.
The incumbents have faced backlash over the split with outgoing Superintendent Paul Gordon, the board's silence on his removal, the level of decorum at board meetings and the dismantling of so-called teacher specialization in second grade.
Meanwhile, the challengers had the backing of the teachers union. Buttimer, Estes, and Hill talked about developing a plan to offer full-day kindergarten.
Buttimer is a part-time freelance user research consultant. Estes is a software developer. And Hill is a former Chicago Public Schools teacher.