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Local

School District 303 unions make endorsements in school board race

Incumbent board member Nick Manheim endorsed along with Rebecca McCabe and Jillian Barker

St. Charles East High School building
St. Charles East High School building

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles School District 303 Board Vice-President Nick Manheim has received the endorsement of the district's employee unions along with former District 303 assistant superintendent Rebecca "Becky" McCabe and Jillian Barker.

The St. Charles Education Association, St. Charles Educational Support Personnel and St. Charles Transportation and Maintenance Association hosted a St. Charles School Board candidate forum on Feb. 9. During the forum, the candidates were asked their views on a variety of topics, from class sizes to what they view as the board's role.

Five candidates will be vying in April for three four-year seats open on the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 School Board. St. Charles School Board President Kathleen Hewell, who is currently serving her fourth term on the board, is running for re-election for one of the seats. Also running are McCabe, Jillian Barker, Garrett Seaman and Michael Bryant.

Manheim, who is finishing his second term on the board, is running against Poonam Gupta-Krishnan for an unexpired two-year term. Lori Linkimer, whose term also expires next year, is not running for re-election.

“While all seven candidates demonstrated a strong commitment to educating our students, the committee feels that Mr. Manheim, Mrs. Barker, and Mrs. McCabe demonstrate ideals that are critical in the effective governing of our public schools: a devotion to engaging all stakeholders in the mission and vision of the district, a desire to meet the needs of the whole child, and a clear focus on advancing the district in a positive direction," St. Charles Education Association President Joe Blomquist said in a news release.

The recommendations come up short in suggesting a candidate for each open seat, a decision that Blomquist said was not reached lightly.

“Each candidate has unique talents, ideas, and beliefs that are worthy of consideration for these important decision-making positions," he said in the release. "While the remaining four candidates would be valuable assets for the school board, we felt that their values or qualifications did not elevate to the level of our recommended candidates. Whatever is the result, we are confident that Dist. 303 residents will be electing school board members that will serve the community well.”

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