Two incumbents who were appointed to the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education to fill vacancies are poised to battle it out next year for a two-year term on the school board. 

The candidate filing period for the April election ended Dec. 19 and both Carolyn Lach and Mike Welch filed to run for the one two-year term on the ballot in District 208. The two-year term will complete that of Ramona Towner, who was re-elected – in 2021 but resigned – in October when she moved out of the district.

Lach was appointed by a unanimous vote of the school board to replace Towner. Welch, who was elected to the school board in 2009 and 2013 and served as president of the school board for two years, was appointed in 2021 to fill out the term of Tom Jacobs, who also moved out of the district.

Neither Lach nor Welch wanted to make a four-year commitment to the school board.

“This is just what is best for myself right now,” said Lach whose youngest child is a junior at RBHS. 

Welch declined to comment on why he filed for a two-year term but he had made it clear a few weeks ago that was his intention.

Five candidates filed for the four four-year terms up on the RBHS school board, including incumbents Bill Durkin, Laura Hruska and Deanna Zalas and first-time candidates Kenyon Duner and Nicholas Novak.

Duner, who is the son of longtime Brookfield Public Library board member Dianne Duner, lives in Brookfield and is the superintendent of recreation for New Star Recreation Services, a cooperative recreation district that serves people with disabilities in Calumet City, Riverdale, South Holland, Broadview and Maywood.

Novak, lives in North Riverside and works for the Wheaton Park District. He is the father of two recent RBHS graduates.

Nine file to run in LTHS D204

The most competitive school board race will be for the three seats up on the Lyons Township High School District 204 Board of Education. Nine candidates, including incumbents Kari Dillon and Jill Beda Daniels, filed to run for those three seats. Incumbent Alison Kelly decided not to run for another term on the school board.

The seven candidates who are not incumbents include Tim Albores of LaGrange Park, Justin Clark of LaGrange, Frank Evans of LaGrange, David Herndon of LaGrange, Gina Sirchio-Lotus of LaGrange, Jill VanHimbergen of Western Springs and Timothy Vlcek of LaGrange Park.

D94, 95, 96, 103 school boards uncontested

Races in Riverside Elementary School District 96 and in Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95 school will be uncontested. 

Incumbent Wesley Muirheid and newcomers Salina Zane Claps of Riverside and Marlowe Djuric Kachlic of Brookfield filed to run for the three seats up in District 96. According to their LinkedIn pages Claps is a financial analyst for Ruane, Cunniff and Goldfarb and Kachlic is the director of introductory pharmacy practice experiences at the UIC College of Pharmacy.

Five candidates filed for the five seats up in District 95. Newcomer Kristin Reingruber, who is the principal of Monroe Elementary school in Hinsdale, is running along with four incumbents: school board President Katie Mulcrone, Elizabeth Loerop, Jackie Jordan and Meaghan McAteer. 

Jordan and McAteer are both running for the two two-year terms up in April because of two resignations from the board. Loerop, Mulcrone and Reingruber are running for four-year terms.

In Komarek School District 94 school board President Chris Waas and newcomer Monica Arango were the only two candidates who filed by the Dec. 19 deadline, according to Cook County Clerk’s website. Three seats are up on the Komarek school board.

There also won’t be a contest for four four-year terms up for election in Lyons-Brookfield School District 103. Filing late on Dec. 19 were incumbent school board president Jorge Torres and incumbents Winifred Rodriguez and Olivia Quintero.

A newcomer on the ballot will be Lyons resident Les Antos, who will take the place of Vito Campanile, who has remained on the school board despite not having attended a meeting since April.

A few more late-filing candidates may yet be added to the roster. Sally Daly, the deputy clerk for communications in the Cook County Clerk’s Office, said the list of school board candidates won’t be finalized until later in the day on Dec. 20, after the Landmark’s press deadline.

Contested race in D102

In LaGrange-Brookfield Elementary School District 102, which includes the southwest portion of Brookfield, six candidates have filed to run for four seats on the school board. 

Incumbents Bessie Boyd and Tiz Lambert are running, along with Brookfield resident Molly Knott and LaGrange residents Kathryn McQuiston, Catherine Murphy and Therese O’Sullivan.

This story has been changed to correct the spelling of Salina Zane Claps’ last name.