New SD103 board gets off to rocky start
By Steve Metsch
It didn’t take long for the newly organized board of Lyons
School District 103 to have its first disagreement.
Moments after incumbent Jorge Torres and three new board
members – Olivia Quintero, Winifred Rodriguez and Vito Campanile – were sworn
in, the first heated discussion started.
The first matter board members voted on resulted in the new
majority voting one way and the new minority voting the other.
And, that was after a long discussion about the pros and
cons of the board meeting either Monday or Tuesday night.
In the end, the new board prevailed.
School District 103 board meetings will be held on the
second and fourth Tuesdays starting this month, instead of the Monday nights it
had been meeting.
Torres, who was unanimously voted board president, replacing
Marge Hubacek, introduced the idea of moving the meetings to Tuesdays.
Torres said it was more convenient for board members,
especially with Mondays “being hectic after the weekend” for many people.
Board member Shannon Johnson said “the middle of the week
tends to be when a lot of school events are held.” Mondays are more convenient,
Hubacek and Sharon Anderson, who form the new minority with
“Tuesday seems to be a better day,” Torres said. “For us.”
“It’s not what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for the
schools,” said Johnson, who took the unusual approach of asking parents in
attendance for their opinion.
Torres noted that meetings had been on Thursday evenings
before moving to Mondays a few years ago.
In the end, the vote went along faction lines: Torres,
Quintero, Campanile and Rodriguez voted for the change; Hubacek, Anderson and
Johnson voted against it.
After the meeting, Torres said, “sometimes work tends to be
a little more stressful on Monday, not only for myself but for everyone É We’re
not going to be in the way of any events.”
Hubacek and Anderson said Tuesday nights will often conflict
with school events.
“That remains to be seen,” Anderson said when asked what the
next two years will be like with a new majority.
“I don’t think you can print what I want to say,” Hubacek
added. “It’s going to be interesting to work with four people who know
In public comments before the meeting, teacher union
president Toni Jackman – with union members silently standing in a show of
support – wished the new board well and said they union is committed to
students. She asked for support from parents, too.
Outgoing board member Tom Weiner reminded the board “to keep
the students, teachers, support staff and custodians’ best interest (in mind)
for all the decisions you make.”
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