Competitive school board races set in DuPage County
Interest is high in the school board elections this spring, as competitive races have emerged across DuPage County.
In several school districts, the list of candidates who filed nominating petitions by last week's deadline amounts to at least twice the number of board seats available.
Indian Prairie Unit District 204 has been leading the pack since early in the weeklong filing period, with 11 hopefuls vying for four open seats. But candidate fields have grown substantially in many other districts, setting the stage for highly contested races in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, Naperville Unit District 203 and more.
Here's a roundup of some key contests on the April 6 ballot:
In a race that has been set for two weeks, school board members Laurie Donahue and Susan Taylor-Demming are vying against nine challengers to retain their seats.
The incumbents formally declared their bids at 8 a.m. Dec. 14 -- the first day of filing -- as did challengers Marina Kosak, Saba Haider, Allison Fosdick, Kader Sakkaria, Supna Jain, Shannon Adcock and Yanmei May Liang. Rajesh Narayan submitted papers later that morning, and Robert O. Harris filed the next day.
Terms are expiring this spring for school board President Michael Raczak and board member Cathy Piehl, who did not file for reelection.
District 204 serves about 27,400 students in Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Plainfield.
The election for four open spots on the District 200 board will be a 10-way race.
School board President Brad Paulsen and board member Rob Hanlon are facing challenges from eight hopefuls vying to serve more than 12,500 students in the Wheaton and Warrenville areas.
The challengers are Kevin Nickell, Angela L. Blatner, Michael Evans, Amanda J. Spans, Mary Yeboah, Anjali Bharadwa, Steven E. Gross and Tom Paulsen, who is not related to the sitting president.
A Naperville-area race that appeared uncontested early on has since grown into one of the county's most competitive contests.
Naperville resident Amanda McMillen initially was the only newcomer running against school board President Kristin Fitzgerald, Vice President Donna Wandke and board member Charles Cush -- until the last day of filing brought out five additional challengers.
Also competing for the board's four open seats are Christi Helm, Thomas Andrew Binkowski, Robert M. Reed, Adam Russo and William Bernard Eagan.
A 4-year term is expiring for Paul Leong, who is running for a Naperville City Council seat.
Four incumbents are seeking reelection to the Glenbard High School District 87 board, but they'll have to square off against four newcomers.
Board President Judith Weinstock, Vice President Jennifer Jendras and board members Robert Friend and Mireya Vera are hoping to retain their positions as elected leaders of the four-school district, which covers parts of Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Bloomingdale, Wheaton and Hanover Park.
The challengers are Kermit Eby, Cyndi Covelli, Nicole Dawson and David C. Dejanovich.
Seven candidates are vying for four seats on the Fenton High School District 100 board.
Board President Paul Wedemann and incumbent Patricia Jalowiec are facing challenges from Joseph Minard, Sylvia Hayde, Xavier Pete, John Radzinski and Thalia Anguiano.
David Woods, a current Wood Dale Elementary District 7 board member, initially filed to run in District 100 but has since withdrawn his candidacy, county officials said. On Dec. 17, he submitted paperwork to seek reelection in an uncontested District 7 race along with sitting Vice President Todd Cox.