New Leadership in District 203

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At the most recent District 203 Board of Education meeting, Kristin Fitzgerald was unanimously selected as board president, and Donna Wandke as vice president – roles they will each serve in for the next two years.

The group also welcomed newly elected members Kristine Gericke and Paul Leong – swearing in all of the new and returning board members who were elected in April.

But before the new members took their place, exiting board members Susan Crotty and Jackie Romberg bid farewell.

“I’ve never done this job for any reason other than the fact that I believe in public education, and after spending 12 years doing this, I couldn’t believe in it anymore than when I started, in fact I believe in it more,” said Crotty, who was first elected to the board in 2005.

“I am proud to be a part of the changing district in my board role over the past ten years, and feel we have made positive differences in our students and the community, while always serving as responsible stewards for our taxpayers,” said Romberg, who was appointed to the board in 2007, and then elected to two more terms.

Both chose not to run for re-election after many years of serving on the board and volunteering in the district.

Later in the meeting, staff presented the tentative 2018 budget, which provides increased funding for achievement gap closing measures, special education and English learner programs.

This budget also has the district paying off their 2008 bonds to the tune of $9.5 million, which will result in a nearly $3 million deficit for fiscal year 18.

“This deficit will draw on funds previously saved by the district for this purpose. And this is a one-time event,” said District 203’s Chief Financial Officer, Brad Cauffman. “Please note that if the district was not making this onetime payment, in the fiscal year 2018 budget, we would have a budget surplus of $6.7 million.”

Theses bonds account for 31 percent of the district’s outstanding debt.

The board will discuss the proposed budget at their next several meetings, with a public hearing planned for June 19.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.