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2 new people, incumbent win seats on Richmond-Burton District 157 board

Michael Baird, Jennifer Read and incumbent Steven Holtz win seats

Members of the community listen to Richmond-Burton High School District 157 Board President Steve Holtz speak about Patrick Elder’s contract during a meeting Feb. 21, 2018.
Members of the community listen to Richmond-Burton High School District 157 Board President Steve Holtz speak about Patrick Elder’s contract during a meeting Feb. 21, 2018.

Richmond-Burton High School District 157 will have two new faces on the board.

Five candidates ran to fill three open seats on the board in the consolidated election this week. Those candidates were incumbents Steven Holtz and Theresa “Tracy” Highley, along with newcomers Michael Baird, Jennifer Read and Robert Satkiewicz.

Baird received the most votes, with 520 cast in his favor. Jennifer Read received 488, and Holtz received 484, according to unofficial results.

Highley received 443 and Satkiewicz came in last with 379 votes.

Read lives in Spring Grove and is a retired business consultant who also worked in education and raised 10 children. She has said her priorities include supporting arts and science programming in the district and creating partnerships with local companies to ensure the district is offering courses to ensure a strong skilled-labor workforce.

She has said one of her motivators for getting involved was because of the “disturbing” legal issue surrounding the high school’s dean of students, Patrick Elder.

Elder is facing aggravated driving under the influence charges that stem from a 2017 incident. He was charged with a felony based on previous convictions. He previously was found guilty of DUI in connection with incidents in 1991 and 1995 in McLean County.

Baird is a Spring Grove resident who works as assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at District 116’s Round Lake High School. He worked at Richmond-Burton High School for eight years before taking the District 116 position. He has four children.

“I am very honored and super excited to be a part of an already high-functioning team,” Baird said Friday. “My first priority is to get myself up to speed, see what I can learn, what I can read and find out what goals are already there and what we can get started to keep the success going.”

Holtz will be on his fourth term. He is board president.

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