Riverside-Brookfield High School

The Riverside-Brookfield High District 208 Board of Education spent just over two hours in closed session on Aug. 10 discussing the candidates to fill the vacancy on the school board created when Tom Jacobs resigned in July.

However, school board members could not settle on a candidate and adjourned the meeting without making a pick when they returned to open session.

“We just didn’t make a decision,” said school board President Deanna Zalas after the meeting. “We have until the end of the month so time is not an issue yet.”

Zalas said the school board must pick a replacement for Jacobs by Aug. 26. By failing to make a decision Tuesday, the board will have to call a special meeting to choose Jacobs’ replacement since their next scheduled meeting is Sept. 14.

Under Illinois law, a school board has 60 days to fill a vacancy on the school board and Jacob’s resignation became effective on July 1. If the board cannot agree on a replacement by the end of the month, the Illinois State Board of Education, through its West 40 Intermediate Service Center, can pick a replacement.

The school board interviewed nine candidates who applied to fill the vacancy. Originally 14 candidates applied, but two of them, Jose Madrigral and Tricia McVicker, quickly pulled out of contention. Interviews could not be arranged with former District 96 school board member Juliet Boyd and Annette Peterson.

Anaese Vega, a Brookfield resident who teaches reading at Congress Park School in Brookfield, was among those scheduled to be interviewed Aug. 10 but was a no-show for the interview.

The nine candidates who were interview are former District 208 school board President Wes Smithing; former Komarek District 94 school board member Carolyn Lach; Riverside resident Cathy Daun; Riverside resident Lisa Garay; Chloe Pederson, a Riverside resident who is an attorney in private practice; Annette Milleville, a Riverside resident and assistant Cook County state’s attorney; Riverside resident Joe Doyle; Matt Gugliciello, a resident of Riverside who is a member of the school board at St. Odilo Catholic School in Berwyn; and Loriann Duffy, a Riverside resident who is the director of property operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Board members were tight-lipped about their discussions of the candidates, referring all questions to Zalas, who also wasn’t saying much. Zalas declined to say who she supported to fill the vacancy.