Eight of the 14 seats on public school boards in Forest Park will be up for election this spring, perhaps opening the doors for a host of new leadership in Forest Park.
In District 91, which oversees the public elementary and middle schools, five seats on the seven-member board are up for election. Proviso Township District 209 will see three spots on the ballot.
District 91 Board of Education President Lois Bugajsky said she is optimistic that several of the incumbents on her board will seek re-election, however, the filing period for candidates to declare is still months away. The district is in the midst of finding a replacement for Superintendent Randolph Tinder who is scheduled to retire at the end of the school year, and Bugajsky said the new administrator may rely on veteran board members in the early going.
“I would hope that our incumbents would run again,” Bugajsky said. “I think that would make for a comfortable beginning when our new superintendent comes in.”
Three of the seats up for grabs in District 91 are for four-year terms. Two seats currently held by Sean Blaylock and Francis Mott will be up for re-election in two years. Both Blaylock and Mott were appointed to the board after previous members resigned, according to Tinder.
Catherine Denham, Steve Johnsen and Glenn Garlisch are the incumbents for the four-year terms.
In District 209, which oversees the Proviso Math and Science Academy and two other Proviso Township high schools, board members Shirley Madlock, Theresa Kelly and Gary Marine are up for re-election. In each of those races voters will elect a board member to a term of four years.
District 209 Superintendent Stan Fields said the election could bring a new dynamic to the embattled board, but ultimately he is not concerned with who holds the seats.
“My priority would be a united board,” Fields said. “A board united in the interests of the students.”
Candidates interested in running for either the District 91 or District 209 board must submit their petition with the district office between Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 of 2007. Municipal elections will be held on April 17.