Endorsements: Polen, Borchers and Engle for Hawthorn District 73 school board
Four candidates seek the three open seats on the Hawthorn School District 73 school board in the April 6 election. Only one incumbent, Wesley Ann Polen, is on the ballot along with Karl Borchers, Michael Engle and Alma Miranda. Hawthorn serves more than 4,200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade and its headquarters is in Vernon Hills. Like many school boards, the pandemic has raised many challenges for the current school board. Parents have selected remote or hybrid learning models for their students.
Polen, elected in 2017, is a COO at Dan Shomon Inc. and says she wants to continue working through the COVID-19 challenges. Polen says her board experience is her biggest asset and that consistency is important. She stands by the board's decision to stick to science when making decisions about returning to in-person learning, even if it was unpopular with some parents. The safety of Hawthorn students, staff, and families is the No. 1 priority, Polen says.
Borchers is a human resources employee at Abbott Laboratories. His oldest child will be entering District 73 this fall. He wants to be invested in the future of the schools and community and says being a member of the board is an opportunity to collaborate with fellow board members, the administration and the community to provide the best opportunities for all our children. Borchers can bring his human resources skills to the table and says he is passionate about wanting what's best for the students.
Engle is a former Distrct 73 student and currently has three children in the district. He is a sales lead and senior account manager for iPromo. Engle says the district is on the right path to getting students safely back in the classroom and that his desire is to serve the community and district to the best of his ability and seeing our schools continue their award winning ways.
Engle wants the district to be mindful of students who need extra accommodations and to look at behavioral health of the students.
Alma Miranda did not respond to the Daily Herald's candidate questionnaire or participate in the editorial board endorsement meeting.
The Daily Herald endorses Polen, Borchers and Engle for the Hawthorn District 73 school board.