Powered by a small, grassroots group of passionate supporters, the Putting Students First slate of Sharon Anderson, Shannon Johnson and Marge Hubacek wrestled control of Lyons School District 103 from the grip of Lyons Village President Christopher Getty on Tuesday.
Anderson, a 10-year incumbent, Johnson, and Hubacek defeated two incumbents and another Getty-backed candidate to, along with holdover incumbent Joanne Schaeffer, earn a working majority of the school board.
Four Getty-backed candidates had been elected to the school board in 2015 and they promptly took control of the school board, hiring a slew of new administrators and dumped Anderson as board president.
“The people have spoken and been heard,” said a jubilant Anderson said Tuesday night. “I’m so excited for the district, I’m so relieved for the district. I can’t believe the amount of help that we got from all over, from so many groups of people. It’s humbling. I can’t even believe the support that we received. It’s truly humbling.”
With all 16 precincts reporting Anderson, a former board president, led the field with 2,046 votes. Johnson, a second-grade teacher, was in second with 1,903 votes and former longtime district secretary Hubacek finished close behind in third with 1,872 votes. Three seats were at stake in the field of six candidates.
The Getty-backed slate, which called themselves Parents for Student Excellence, trailed behind. Incumbent Katie Broderick, who was elected to a two year term in 2015, led the Getty backed slate in fourth place with 1,427 votes. Newcomer Olivia Quintero was in fifth place, and incumbent Kendra Pierce, who was appointed to the board last year, was brought up the rear.
Anderson said that around 40 to 50 people helped the Putting Students First slate in one way or another. Many leaders of PTAs or other parent organizations supported the slate. They had workers handling out palm cards, small ones unlike the larger laminated palm cards the Getty-backed candidates had, at every precinct in the district.
“There are people who I would like schedule for an hour or two to work and they would work six,” said Anderson, who was responsible for scheduling poll workers in the Brookfield portion of the district.
Anderson, Johnson, and Hubacek benefited from parents in the district who were upset about the way things were going under the new regime. The Getty-backed candidates did not appear at the one candidate forum that was held, which hurt them in the eyes of some voters.
“My kids are in the school district and I do not like some of the decisions they’re making,” said Kristin Thomas of Brookfield after voting for the Anderson, Johnson, and Hubacek at the Brookfield Fire station on Shields Ave. “They didn’t come to the meet and greet.”