Some school boards have wealth of candidates; others unable to fill April ballot

Five McHenry County school districts couldn’t rustle up enough candidates to fill all of the open seats on their school boards, while others are competitive, with as many as nine candidates vying for four seats.

High property taxes and teachers strikes are on the minds of some residents, but the issues didn’t translate into a flood of candidates in the April 9 election.

Seven candidates are running for four seats on the Prairie Grove School District 46 school board, but only three candidates, two of them incumbents, will be on the ballot for Carpentersville-based District 300 residents.

The teachers unions in both districts staged one-day strikes this fall after contract negotiations reached impasses.

District 158 came close to a strike this year, as well. Still, its school board race won’t be competitive, barring write-in candidates. Three incumbents and one newcomer are running for four open seats.

Most, but not all, of the school boards with competitive races voted to raise their levies in a time when some taxing bodies decided to hold the line or abate some taxes.

Crystal Lake School District 47 had a number of hot issues in the community, including its decision to start the ethics-based education program Character Counts, and all-day kindergarten next year. These come on the heels of board members asking Superintendent Donn Mendoza to study the possibility of closing a school.

Six candidates in District 47, including three incumbents, are vying for the board’s four open seats.

On the ballot
(i) indicates incumbents
Listed in alphabetic order

Nippersink School District 2

Four openings
Sharon Bianchini (i)
Dawn Heaney
Gary Kriz
Pierre Langlois (i)

Fox River Grove School District 3

Officials did not respond to calls requesting the list of candidates.

Johnsburg School District 12

Officials were unable to provide the list of candidates, saying district staff were out of the office.

McHenry Elementary School District 15

Four four-year terms
Amanda Geyer
Patrick Miller (i)
Ted Pillow (i)
Kim Qualls (i)
Erik Sivertsen

One two-year term

John O’Neill (i)

Riley School District 18

Four openings
Tim Aubry (i)
Anita Mitchell (i)
Dawn Northcutt (i)

Alden-Hebron School District 19

Four openings
Andy Madsen (i)
Chris Olson (i)
Sue Walters (i)

Cary School District 26

Four openings
Christopher Christensen
Jennifer Crick
Scott Epstein
Josh Howell
Chris Jenner (i)
Julie Jette (i)
Floyd Myers (i)
Bruce Ritter
Bradley Slavik

Harrison School District 36

Offices were closed because of winter break.

Prairie Grove School District 46

Four openings
Laura Barker
John Bowman
Laura Domoto (i)
Charlotte Kremer (i)
Anna Olas
Margaret Ponga
Rick Salvo

Crystal Lake School District 47

Four openings
Betsy Les
Jeff Mason (i)
Eileen Palsgrove
Donna Ricci
Rob Routzahn (i)
Ruth Scifo (i)

Harvard School District 50

Four openings
Diana Bird (i)
Richard D. Crosby
Samuel Finfrock
Steve Garrels
Rebecca Klein
Dennis Reilly
Richard F. Stoxen (i)

Marengo Community High School District 154

Officials did not respond to calls requesting a list of candidates.

Community High School District 155

Four openings
Gary Oberg (i)
Dave Secrest (i)
Ann Somers (i)
Ted Wagner (i)

McHenry High School District 156

Four openings
Donald Cichoski
Ronald Fischer
Gary Kinshofer

Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157

One two-year term
No candidate

Four four-year terms
Michelle Graham (i)
John Schleibinger (i)
David Thomas (i)

Consolidated School District 158

Four openings
Donald Drzal (i)
Michael Fleck
Kimberly Skaja (i)
Paul Troy (i)

Marengo-Union Elementary School District 165

Offices are closed until Wednesday.

Woodstock School District 200

One two-year term
David Shinherr (i)

Four four-year terms
Carl Gilmore
Camille Goodwin (i)
Katherine Lechner (i)
Paul J. Meyer (i)
Bill Nattress
Michael Wellwerts

Community Unit School District 300

Four openings
David Alessio (i)
Kathleen Burley
Anne Miller (i)

• Reporter Chelsea McDougall contributed to this story.

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