By Sara Prier
The results are in and the Kane County school board members have been chosen. The three school board members for Kane County are John Dryden, Cathy Dremel, and Christopher Lowe. Dryden won by large margin, with Dremel and Lowe finishing second and third, respectively.
This will be Dryden and Lowe’s first time serving on the school board. Dremel was re-elected after serving previous years on the board along with Melanie Impastato, who was also up for re-election. She did not regain her seat however, a result of her placing last in the election.
Dryden said he thought he won because the citizens understand where he is coming from. He was formerly a social studies teacher at Batavia High School. He taught there for 21 years before retiring.
“I think they expect me to fight the good fight” he said.
Lowe attributed his win to him having a strong support base in the community.
One of the things that all of the electees have in common is their concern over the new school mandates, such as Parcc testing and the common core.
“I think that the new school mandates and how they are going to be implemented are going to be one of the biggest issues for the school board” said Lisa Walls, eight-year latin teacher at Batavia High School.
This year, schools all over Illinois started with 24 new school mandates, none of which came with state funding. This could increase cuts to other programs at schools, or could increase property taxes in the surrounding area.
With all the challenges, the new board members are all ready and eager to get to work.
“They are both very passionate and care about the kids,” said Dremel when asked about how she felt about working with Dryden and Lowe.
Another goal of all the student board members is to improve communication between the school board and the community. There is a history of complaints from citizens about the lack of communication and being left in the dark. The newly elected members have said they would work to rectify the situation.
“The obvious fix for this problem begins with the school board establishing open and honest dialogue with the educators, and other staff, based on the understanding that we all have the same goal,” said Dryden. “I am aware that Dremel and Gaspar (current board members) have begun this process and I applaud their efforts.”
There are many more things that need taking care of in the community however. The board is also considering reinstating full day kindergarten, along with other things.
“I am looking forward to getting to work” said Lowe.