The only non-incumbent running for the Lyons Township High School District 204 school board has survived a petition challenge and will remain on the ballot in the April election. Objector Robert Brogan has withdrawn his challenge to candidate William Cassidy’s nominating petitions.
Brogan had challenged Cassidy’s nominating papers claiming that Cassidy had not filed a required statement of economic interests in the same year that he filed his nominating petitions. When Cassidy first submitted his nominating petitions in November he did not check the box indicating that he had filed his statement of economic interests. But a few days later, before the end of the filing period, Cassidy submitted the required form. Once it became clear that Cassidy’s statement of economic interests had been filed Brogan withdrew the challenge.
Brogan serves on the board of the Legacy Guild, a La Grange based foundation that provides scholarships for college students who have lost a parent, with Tom Cushing, the president of the District 204 Board of Education who is running for another term in the April election.
Joining Cushing in running for reelection are fellow incumbents George Daugherty, Jessica McLean, and Molly Murphy.
Cassidy, 49. is the only other candidate. Cassidy lives in Willow Springs which is in the southern portion of the district. He has a daughter who is a junior at LTHS and a son who is a 7th grader at Pleasantville Middle School.
Cassidy first became involved in LTHS affairs by working to get a school bus stop route relocated to avoid recurrent flooding at 91st Street and Orchard Road in Willow Springs. He said that it took about a year to get school officials to change the location of the bus stop to avoid the area prone to flooding.
Cassidy says that people from his area needed more representation on the District 204 school board.
“I thought the other thing I could do by running was maybe to represent the people who live further away a little better,” said Cassidy who noted that he lives eight miles from the LTHS North Campus. He would like to see better bus service for students who live near Plainfield Road.
Overall Cassidy says that he thinks that the District 204 school board does a good job.
“It’s a good organization and seems to be doing well and I’m very happy to run and possibly be a part of it,” Cassidy said.
Cushing, who is running for his second full term on the school after being appointed to the board in 2012 when Bill Purcell died, is supporting his fellow incumbents.
“I would strongly endorse all of my fellow board members who are running,” said Cushing who became school board president in 2015. “They are all excellent board members, they’re excellent people, but in terms of running as a slate or anything like that we have not had any decision about that.”
Cushing says that the District 204 board works well together.
“Our board, we’re diverse in thinking but we have a strong bond,” Cushing said. “We’re a collaborative group. We’re focused also on being fiscally responsible but at the same time providing great programs and great facilities for our students.”
Cushing pointed to creating a study hall period during the day for all students and efforts to get more minority students to take upper level classes, including Advanced Placements classes, as recent initiatives of the school board that he is most proud of.