Anyone interested in running for a seat on a local school board had to file nominating petitions with the Cook County Clerk’s Office by the close of business on Dec. 19, and after the smoke cleared it was clear that several races won’t be contested.
There are competitive races in Riverside District 96, Brookfield-Lyons District 103 and Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208, races which have been reported on previously,
Here’s how the rest of the school board contests are shaping up.
In Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95, six seats are up for election this spring. Because longtime board members John LaBarbara and Lynn Waterloo, who were both elected in 2015, resigned last year, there are two two-year terms up for election in addition to four four-year terms.
Brian Conroy and Joe Ivan, both incumbents, are running unopposed for the two-year terms.
Five candidates will compete for the four full terms up for election next spring, including incumbents Michelle Maggos, Barb Garvey, Brian Pencak and Rebecca Zoltoski. The only non-incumbent in the field is attorney Scott Encher.
Encher has lived in Brookfield for nearly 16 years. He served for five years on the Brookfield Playgrounds and Recreation Commission and was the commission’s chairman for a little over a year.
He works a personal injury plaintiff’s attorney for a small law firm in downtown Chicago. He has three children, a freshman at Riverside-Brookfield High School, a sixth-grader at S.E. Gross Middle School, and first-grader at Brook Park Elementary School.
Encher thinks the district should offer full-day kindergarten and said his experience as a trial attorney and an arbitrator would be useful on the school board. He says he has nothing against any of the incumbents he’s running against, three of whom are teachers, two on the elementary school level.
“I just think having an additional voice [is good],” Encher said. “If I’m not fortunate enough to win, I think the board will be in good hands.”
In Komarek School District 94, where three seats are up for election in April, only two candidates, incumbents Al Sarro and Jonathan Hoadley, have filed to run.
Board member Gina Sierra is giving up her seat to run for the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 school board.
If no one files with the Cook County Clerk’s office as a write-in candidate, the school board will appoint a board member after the election to fill the open seat.
There is also no competition in LaGrange-Brookfield District 102. There are three candidates, all newcomers, running for three seats. Two of the candidates, Ed Campbell and Michael Melendez, are residents of Brookfield while Michael Thornton lives in LaGrange Park.
Brookfield resident Steve Kudia is one of three incumbents not running for re-election.
LTHS District 204
There are five candidates running for four seats on the Lyons Township High School District 204 Board of Education.
Newcomer William Cassidy of Willow Springs will be on the ballot along with incumbents Tom Cushing, George Dougherty, Jessica McLean and Molly Murphy.