Endorsements: Bruno, Loebach, Martelli, Syed for District 41 board
Eight candidates are competing for four school board seats in Glen Ellyn District 41.
Incumbents Robert Bruno and Jason Loebach seek reelection. The six challengers are Adam Collins, Jodee Dunham, Abigail Emerson, Chris Martelli, Millie Sessions and Tayyaba Syed.
Bruno serves as board president, and Loebach is vice president. They demonstrate deep knowledge of the district. They see beyond the pandemic and issues needing to be addressed. Loebach oversees the district's Special Education Strategic Plan, and special services and inclusion are priorities for him. Bruno's experience as an educator gives him a unique perspective on what is required of a board member and president, and he's done a successful job both during the pandemic and prior to it. Bruno and Loebach deserve another term to see out their pandemic response and plan for the district's future. They are endorsed.
Martelli also shows a solid understanding of school administration and education as the director of curriculum and instruction for Salt Creek District 48. After 24 years as a public educator, he has the experience to benefit the District 41 board. He's worked in a public school setting during the pandemic and helped navigate the district's response. His comprehensive knowledge will benefit District 41 moving forward. Martelli is endorsed.
Also endorsed is Syed. Her civic involvement in the community is impressive. She hopes to bring diverse, equitable and inclusive schools to the district after her son experienced bullying in the district. Syed also supports the district's response to the pandemic after her family was exposed to COVID-19 and had to quarantine. This experience helped her appreciate the district's safety measures, communication with the nurse and accommodations made by the teacher. We see Syed as someone who will work collaboratively, represent Glendale Heights and minorities, and bring a much-needed perspective to the board.
Emerson and Sessions are critical of the board's pandemic response. They're running for admirable reasons -- improving the district, representing the community and opening up discussion on the pandemic. But beyond this, they don't offer specifics on other issues. They'd bring new viewpoints, but we worry what their focus will be post pandemic.
Collins is most concerned about improving the district's special education services. While this is a commendable reason to run, we hoped to hear more on other topics. Dunham is running to have a larger role and impact in the community. Her heart is in the right place, we praise her desire to be involved, but she lacks specifics on issues.