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Voters pick change for Morris school districts

‘Team Take Back District 54’ is in; two incumbents out in Dist. 101

The trio running under a “Take Back District 54” banner took the three available seats on the Dist. 54 school board in Tuesday’s election.

Patrick Stevens earned 1,542 votes, Bonnie Cap finished second with 1,517, and Jerald White got the last available seat with 1,443.

The trio, who have been critical of the current board and Superintendent Teri Shaw in particular, unseat incumbents Lisa Kneller, Steven Kodat and G. James Ringer, who picked up 958, 809 and 652 votes, respectively.

Most precincts saw turnout in the high-20 to mid-30s, but Saratoga 2 had only 13 percent turnout.

The three “Take Back District 54” candidates won all precincts except Morris 1, where Kneller edged out White for the third highest percentage of votes, at 17.76 percent.

Morris High

Incumbent James Paulson was re-elected to a two-year term on the Morris High School Dist. 101 board, beating out opponent Demetra Turman by a wide margin.

Paulson received 2,739 votes and Turman received 721. Paulson won overwhelmingly in each precinct, netting 87.34 percent of the vote in Morris 5.

In the district’s other race, seven candidates vied for four open four-year spots on the board.

Stephen Stangland received the most votes, with 2,654. He was followed by Denny Best with 2,235, Thomas Anderson at 2,048, and Delores Robinson with 1,985.

Incumbents John L. Maddox and Karen Meucci received 1,469 and 1,365 votes, respectively to finish fifth and sixth. Stewart Hipes received 847 votes.

Nettle Creek Dist. 24C

Claiming four vacant spots on the Nettle Creek Dist. 24C board were Mark Padavano with 96 votes, Jodi L. Nelson and Tim Kamradt with 94 votes each, and Michele Carlson with 91 votes.

Incumbent Ted Ergo finished fifth in the election with 82 votes.

Minooka Dist. 111

Incumbents Chris Kobe, who currently serves as board president, and Patti Ruettiger, earned a respective 1,749 and 2,164 votes to keep their spots on the Minooka Dist. 111 school board.

Mike Brozovich earned 2,109 votes and Michelle Mullen earned 1,576 votes to claim the other two open seats.

Fiscal responsibility was the theme of the race, with candidates — in an earlier interview with the Morris Daily Herald’s sister publication, Minooka-Channahon Life — looking for ways to curb spending while keep quality high.

“I believe the district needs to continue to look for ways to tighten our spending while improving students’ academic achievement and maintaining student programs without increasing the tax levy to our stakeholders,” Kobe said in that interview.

Minooka Dist. 201

Five candidates raced for four open seats on the Minooka Dist. 201 Board.

Newcomer Victoria Allen received the most votes, 1,437.

The two incumbents running, Douglas Martin and James Satorius, each kept their seats, picking up 1,366 votes and 1,323 votes, respectively.

Netting the last seat was Donald McKinney, who had served on the board from 2007 to 2010. He received 1,151 votes to earn another term.

John S. Clucas fell short in his board bid despite garndering 1,093 votes.

Coal City Dist. 1

Mary Gill led the pack with 590 votes, followed by Jeff Emerson with 511 and Shawn Hamilton with 487.

Gill and Emerson are incumbents, while Hamilton, a former board president, is returning to the Coal City Dist. 1 board after voluntarily resigning his post previously. At the time of his resignation, Hamilton was serving as county administrator for Grundy County and was trimming his schedule and potential conflicts of interest.

Now that Hamilton is no longer with the county, he opted to seek again seek a seat on the board.

Amanda Ullrich finished fourth with 404 votes.

Gardner-South Wilmington D73

The incumbents retained their four seats in this race.

David R. Doglio finished first with 343 votes, followed by Allison L. Wright with 325, Craig C. Male with 316, and Cindy L. Gerber with 274. James K. Riley finished last with 246 votes.

South Wilmington Grade School

Katy Wepprecht finished first with 105 votes, Michael G. Lardi finished second with 103 votes, and Sarah J. Halpin finished third with 76 votes to earn seats on the board.

Eric Conger lost the race with 63 votes.

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