Endorsements: Ahlmann, McConville, Sims, Lesniak for Lisle Dist. 202 board
Three incumbents and two challengers are vying for four, 4-year seats on the Lisle Unit District 202 school board in the April 6 election. Incumbents Pamela (Pam) Ahlmann, Eunice B. McConville and Randee C. Sims face challenges from Gregory T. Nagler and Steven Lesniak.
Two years ago, Lisle voters turned down a referendum seeking to decrease the district's tax levy, and the board candidates attached to that referendum. All incumbents retained their seats, a signal that the community supports the board and its direction.
This election, the district faces some important challenges, including a post-referendum focus on finances and keeping the community better informed on school spending and goals.
Other issues include guiding the district back to full-time, in-school learning for all students; meeting students' academic and social-emotional needs; and better serving the district's minority students.
School board Vice President Pamela Ahlmann has a strong handle on helping the board through these challenges with her 16 years of experience. Her priorities are identifying barriers to equity in learning, addressing student well-being and academic success and focusing on the facilities master plan, including the junior high renovation plan that had to be put on hold when the pandemic hit.
McConville is a finance expert who has been involved in tweaking the district's accounting to address concerns about fund limits and better explain finances to constituents.
Sims, appointed to the board in 2019, is focused on meeting the social and emotional needs of the students while improving academic growth by expanding support and learning opportunities.
Ahlmann, McConville and Sims are endorsed.
Both challengers have impressive skills and priorities.
Nagler would bring an insider's view on how the district might be able to better serve minority students with his experience working on equal opportunity issues in two previous jobs.
Lesniak, a teacher in another district, believes the district should focus on continuing to improve communication to parents. He would bring a unique perspective to the board as a teacher who has guided students through the challenges of the pandemic. Lesniak is endorsed.