John E. Naughton III: 2021 candidate for Villa Park Elementary District 45 board

Updated 3/24/2021 9:35 AM

Editor's note: John E. Naughton III has dropped out of the race and is no longer actively campaigning.

Eight candidates are running for four, 4-year terms on the Villa Park Elementary District 45 board of trustees in the April 6 election.


They are incumbents Judith C. Degnan and Navreet Kaur Heneghan, and challengers West Conway Marinier, Allen Legutki, Kelli P. May, John E. Naughton III, Kathryn Padberg, and Emily Shultz.

John E. Naughton III has dropped out of the race and is no longer actively campaigning. Kelli P. May did not respond to the questionnaire.

The Daily Herald asked each candidate about issues facing the district and how they would contribute to its progress.

In-person early voting with paper ballots is now available at the DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 5, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. In-person early voting with touch-screen voting begins March 22 at locations throughout the county. Learn more at


Town: Lombard

Age: None given

Occupation: Civil engineer

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Civic involvements: None given


Q. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

A: Getting our schools open for in-person full-time learning.

Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?

A: Failed. The D45 Board has deferred to DuPage County Health Department data and refused to consider other public schools and private schools are open for in-person learning.

Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?

A: A voice for the children. It is time to return to in-person full-time learning. Some parents are still concerned about the safety and a discussion must continue but for the long-term learning and emotional growth of our children it is time to return.


Q: Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.

A: No. Online learning is not the same as in-person. Too many examples to list.

Q: Do you have a plan on how to safely and effectively conduct classes in the spring? What have you learned from the fall semester that you would change in the spring?

A: Yes. Open the schools and return to normal. The data shows it is safe to do so.

Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific.

A: High school sports should have never stopped. Other states have safely continued high school sports.

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