Hinsdale District 86 divisions reflected in board race
Just the facts
Resident of: unincorporated Hinsdale
Education: Bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier University; law degree from John Marshall Law School
Occupation: Managing member and general counsel of Illinois Energy Aggregation LLC
School board experience: completing second four-year term on District 86; Maercker Elementary District 60 School Board member from 2003 to 2007.
Resident of: Burr Ridge
Education: Finance Degree from University of Illinois; law degree from Northwestern University
Occupation: Corporate attorney and senior vice-president of LKQ Corp.
School board experience: Gower Elementary Distict 62 School Board member 2007-11
Resident of: Clarendon Hills
Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s in finance from Northwestern University
Occupation: Owns and works for Green Tech Overseas; has managed large construction projects in five countries
School board experience: None
Resident of: Clarendon Hills
Education: Attended Prairie State College and DePaul University
Occupation: Owns WorryFreePC, a computer consulting firm
School board experience: completing her first four-year term on District 86; member of Maercker Elementary District 60 School Board, 2001 to 2005.
DEIRDRE (DEEDEE) GORGOL
Resident of: Willowbrook Education:
Bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Central College
Occupation: Data specialist and internal auditor at United Parcel Service
School board experience: Completing her first four-year term on District 86
Resident of: Darien
Education:Bachelor’s degree in finance from Arizona State University; master’s in finance from Benedictine University
Occupation: Retired, chief financial officer for Geneva Public Schools and Morton Community College
School board experience: Illinois Association of School Business Officials Board member
Resident of: Darien
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University; law degree from IIT Chicago Kent Law School
Occupation: Labor and employment attorney
School Board experience: Four-year term on Darien District 61 School Board, ending April 2013
Resident of: Hinsdale
Education: Master’s degree and doctorate in music education from Syracuse University
Occupation: Teaches education classes at VanderCook College of Music (on the IIT campus) to current and future music teachers
School board experience: District 181 School Board member 2007-11; Illinois Music Education Association president, 2011-13
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:11AM
HINSDALE — The race for Hinsdale High School District 86 Board reflects the split that has existed for several years.
Among the eight candidates running for four seats, some focus on the district’s successes, others on its shortcomings.
Candidates Claudia Manley, Ed Corcoran and Victor Casini are campaigning together on a platform of community collaboration, better financial management, educational excellence and transparency.
“The current board could improve its fiscal responsibility, especially with regard to the transparency of its spending decisions,” Casini said.
Incumbents Dennis Brennan, Kay Gallo, Deirdre (DeeDee) Gorgol and newcomer Roseanne Rosenthal also are campaigning together, citing upgrades of facilities without a major tax increase, and consistent improvement in academic achievement.
Both Brennan and Gallo cite as accomplishments the renovation of the science classrooms as a significant accomplishment. Gallo also includes the master facility plan, which had the school entrances redesigned to make them more secure and improved the traffic flow around the schools, and the vision/strategic plan.
Rosenthal said the academic success of District 86 students is “astonishing for a public school that admits every single student regardless of ability or language barrier.”
A music education teacher for more than 30 years, Rosenthal said, she was delighted with the education her children received and she wants to protect and preserve that quality.
Roger Kempa, the only candidate not running as part of a slate, criticizes the relationships on the board and its attitude to the public, which he considers “arrogant.”
He opposed the board’s decision to levy the maximum amount of taxes the district legally can under the tax cap, and said board members treat taxpayers as “a machine to be turned on once a year to pull the lever and get every dime they can. That’s wrong, especially in this economy with people out of work, (or) earning less than they did four years ago.”
Corcoran wants “no-bid” contracts eliminated. Both he and Manley want committees formed that would include community members.
“Populate the committees with skilled citizens focused on clear scopes and missions,” such as budget review, facilities, curriculum, taxes and the teachers’ contract, Corcoran said.
Ironically, while Brennan said the board works well together for the community and the students, Gallo said she wants to improve interaction among board members, because it seems as though some members “espouse personal agendas over what was best for the students. I would like to think this was primarily due to a lack of communication.”
This story was updated March 23 to show Deirdre (DeeDee) Gorgol is campaigning together with Dennis Brennan, Kay Gallo and Roseanne Rosenthal.