Here Are Your School Board Candidates

School boards spend about 70 percent of what you pay in property taxes. They have to balance the quality of schools with what taxpayers can afford. It's worth your time to evaluate candidates before voting.


Do you know who holds the most power over what you pay in taxes and the kind of education your child receives?

There's no question it's local school districts. In the Chicago suburbs, about 70 percent of what residents pay in taxes goes to school districts.

You, as a voter, elect school board members, who have the ultimate say over how much tax is collected from taxpayers and what kind of education local children get. School board members wield a great deal of decision-making power that influences daily life here in the suburbs.

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The following people are running in local school board races. Patch will follow up with additional coverage.

East Maine School District 63

(educates students from Niles, Morton Grove, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Glenview)

Five candidates are running for four 4-year terms, making it a contest in the April 9 general election. 

They are:

  • Zeev Walny
  • Sheila Urban (incumbent)
  • Walter Gluzkin (incumbent)
  • Krystal Zec (incumbent)
  • Alexandra Brook

One incumbent, Jane Wojtkiewicz, who served as board president, is not running again. 

Park Ridge-Niles School District 64

Six candidates are running for four 4-year terms in the April 9 general election.

They are: 

  • Terry L. Cameron
  • Rick Van Roeyen
  • Scott Zimmerman (incumbent)
  • Vicki Lee
  • Benjamin Seib
  • Dathan Paterno

According to District 64, incumbents Pat Fioretto, Sharon Lawson and Eric Uhlig, whose terms are expiring, are not running again. 

Golf School District 67 (Niles and Morton Grove)

The district is placing a referendum on the Feb. 27 primary ballot.

If voters approve it, it would cause a tax increase and enable the district to restore programs, teachers and other personnel and activities that were cut when the district initiated budget cuts last year.

The four candidates are running on the April 9 general election ballot.

Five candidates initially filed, but one was prevented from getting on the ballot after a petition challenge.

Consequently, there are four candidates for four 4-year terms, meaning the election is uncontested.

The candidates are: 

  • Jeffrey S. Gwozdz
  • Richard A. Toth (incumbent)
  • Thomas G. Sikoral
  • Ashwini Kumar (incumbent)

Regarding the petition challenge, the district said, "In Toth vs. Kirschner, an issue was raised in the objector’s petition whether the nominating papers contained a minimum of 50 valid signatures as required by law." The challenged candidate withdrew the nomination as a result, it said.

Morton Grove District 70 - Park View School

Four candidates are running for four 4-year terms, making an uncontested April 9 general election. The candidates are:

  • Aneta Greiner 
  • Leah Kintner 
  • Wayne Youkhana
  • Write-in Candidate: Lori Eslick 

Niles Elementary District 71 - Culver School

Three candidates are running for four 4-year terms in the April 9 general election.

They are:

  • Matthew Holbrook (incumbent)
  • Jill Astbury-Brocar
  • Matt Glancy

Incumbents Patrick Byrne, John Zuckerman and Mary Krueger are not running again.

Niles Township High School District 219 

(Niles West, Niles North and Niles Central High Schools; they educate students from Niles, Morton Grove, Skokie and Lincolnwood)

Five candidates filed to run for three 4-year terms in the April 9 general election.

They are:

  • Robert A. Silverman
  • Ruth Klint
  • Lynda G. Smith
  • Orrin Joffe (nomination declared not valid)
  • Mitchell Steinberg (petition papers in dispute)

According to Jim Szczepaniak, District 219's communications director, "On Jan. 2, 2013, D219 Local Election Official Linda Poulsom sent Orrin Joffe a letter stating that he did not file a Statement of Economic Interests with the County Clerk for Cook County, as required, and that therefore his nomination papers are not valid.

"Objections to the nomination papers of Mitchell Steinberg were filed by Ruth Klint. The Electoral Board, composed of Sheri B. Doniger, Carlton Evans and Jeffrey D. Greenspan, met at public meetings on January 7 and January 16 and found that Mr. Steinberg's circulated petition sheets contain less than the required 50 signatures of registered voters residing in the district.  The candidate has five days after the second hearing of the electoral board to file a petition for judicial review with the Cook County Circuit Court."

Maine Township High School District 207 

(Maine South, Maine East and Maine West High Schools; they educate students from Park Ridge, Niles, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Glenview)

Seven candidates are running for three 4-year terms and one candidate is running unopposed for one 2-year term.

Running for the three 4-year terms are:

  •  Eldon Burk (incumbent)
  •  Mary C. Childers
  •  Jin Lee
  •  Margaret C. McGrath (incumbent)
  •  Carla R. Owen (appointed incumbent)
  •  Jeffrey S. Spero
  •  Sean M. Story

Running unopposed for the 2-year term is:

  • Eric Leys

Incumbent Ed Mueller is not running again, and former board member Joann Braam left a few months ago because she moved out of the district. The board appointed Carla Owen to replace her, but Owen has not yet won election in the district.

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Concerned January 24, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Sorry to see Ed Mueller leave District 207. He was the ONLY board member that fought for the taxpayers, trying to get the board to stop requesting the maximum levy they could get EVERY year. This district has MASSIVE reserves, equivalent to a full-year's budget IN THE BANK, and they still continue to raise taxes each and every year to the maximum allowed. NO other district has those reserves that large. They could start reducing that reserve and give the taxpayers a break, but they do not. I hope that the voters "wise up" and elect replacements for the incumbents that need to be replaced. Thank you Ed Mueller for trying to get the board to see reason all these years. You are a dedicated citizen looking out for the community.
parkridgetowncrier February 24, 2013 at 01:05 AM
It is time for Scott Zimmerman to go. He initially ran on a platform of wanting to make a difference and I ask, what difference has he made. He is consumed by the power of "deciding on what you will pay in taxes" a direct quote from him to me. He could care less about improving the education of our children. He is an elitist snob who knows nothing about educating children


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