It appears there will be a contested District 91 school board race after all.
Three candidates, and possibly more, will be running as write-in candidates for two two-year terms on the school board. John Tricoci, Christine Lazzara and Catherine Denham filed with the county clerk to appear on the ballot as write-in candidates.
Also, at least two more women are considering their chances for a successful write-in campaign. Former village clerk Joan White was distributing literature at the recent forum for village candidates. Terri Sansone also said she is considering a run.
Originally, no one filed petitions to get on the ballot for the pair of two-year vacancies that were created when appointees Frank Mott and Sean Blaylock opted to run for full four-year terms. Both men have been serving by appointment following the resignations of previous board members.
Glenn Garlisch is the third incumbent on the board of education who filed for re-election to a four-year term. All three of these incumbents are running uncontested for those seats.
Tricoci, 57, served on the District 91 school board from 1983 until 2001. He served while he had children in the school. Now, Tricoci said, he has a grandchild who is an eighth-grader at the middle school and next year will have two grandchildren starting kindergarten.
Tricoci, who is a cousin to Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone, said he is running out of a concern for the number of vacancies on the board.
“I think I bring a lot of experience, a lot of leadership,” Tricoci said. “We have a lot of new board members coming on and a new superintendent. I think with my experience and background I can help a lot.”
Tricoci helps manage a family business in Cicero, Ill., and works part-time as a real estate agent here in Forest Park. He has lived his entire life in Forest Park and attended Grant White School. His three sons are all District 91 graduates.
In 2003 Tricoci ran an unsuccessful campaign for village commissioner.
Denham is an incumbent on the board, but did not file for re-election to a four-year term. Her late entry as a write-in candidate for a two-year term was prompted by a concern to maintain some veteran leadership on the board of education, Denham said.
Lazzara, 42, is married to a village council candidate in this year’s general election. She works as the executive assistant to the managing partner of a downtown Chicago law firm. She has two sons who attend Field Stevenson. Her 19-year-old daughter attended Betsy Ross.
Lazzara said she decided to run after learning that there would be vacancies following the April 17 election.
“Why should I let them appoint whomever they want,” Lazzara said. “I thought, you know what, I have a second- and fourth-grader. I have an investment in my school district.”
Both Lazzara and Tricoci said they want to concentrate on helping the district boost its standardized test scores, which are below state averages.
Terri Sansone, the wife of Park Board member Roy Sansone, said she is considering running, but has not yet made up her mind.
Write-in candidates must file their paperwork with the Cook County Clerk’s office by April 10 in order to run in the April 17 election, according to district officials.