New members elected to school board

The Seal for Cook County, whose clerks office tallies the votes for LTs school board (County Board Website).

The Seal for Cook County, whose clerk’s office tallies the votes for LT’s school board (County Board Website).

Diane Makovic and Liz Gremer

On April 2, three new board members were elected to the D204 school board. According to the Cook County Clerk unofficial results, Allison Kelly, Kari Dillon, and Barbara Rosinsky won the positions with 24%, 23%, and 19% of the votes respectively. While Kelly and Dillon will be serving their first terms, Rosinsky was the only incumbent member elected back after first being elected in 2014.

School districts are not involved in the election process, Superintendent Timothy Kilrea said. The candidates campaign throughout the 11 communities that they serve.

“When candidates begin campaigning you may see signs in yards, maybe knocks on your door, maybe social media,” Kilrea said. “There are different panels throughout the community for potential school board members to introduce themselves and speak about their candidacy.”

John Polacek had been a prominent member of the school board since 1989, Assistant Principal for the Class of 2019 Kris Costopoulos said. After 30 years of service to the community, Polacek did not run for reelection, opening up another spot for the candidates to fill.

“[Polacek] was a really good board member,” Costopoulos said. “He will be missed. He always made decisions with the students in mind.”

The last regular school board meeting will be held on April 15, Costopoulos said. The new members will be sworn in between April 15 and May 1, Kilrea said.

The school board has many different sub-committees that operate within the group, Costopoulos said. Committees are not allowed to vote on changes, that must be done during official meetings in front of the entire board.

“School board members are elected to set policy and goals for the district, oversee and approve budgets, hire and evaluate the superintendent, and make sure the school district operates in a manner that meets the needs of all students in the community,” Kilrea said.

LT and other public schools are multimillion dollar institutions and must be run like a business, Kilrea said. The changes made affect the entire school and community.

“While we are learning institutions first, schools are a business,” Kilrea said. “Board members have a big job.”