D.76 incumbents have unfinished business
Updated: January 24, 2013 9:18AM
The three incumbent candidates running for Diamond Lake School District board are different in many ways, but they all want to keep working toward a better education for district students despite budget woes.
Like many school districts, Diamond Lake has been affected by lower revenues caused by the economic downturn and decreased funding from the state.
“We can’t sacrifice the quality of education,” said Beverley Barton Seaver, a three-year veteran of the board.
Seaver was appointed to finish out a term of a board member who resigned for personal reasons. She was elected to a two-year term in 2011 and is now running for reelection.
The resident of Vernon Hills is 61-years-old, a grandmother and a retired teacher with a 30-plus years of experience in public and private education.
“I’ve taught everyone from pre-schoolers to senior citizens,” Seaver said.
The commitment to keeping teachers’ and students’ needs at the forefront is what drives her continued desire to serve on the board.
“We need to find ways to keep ourselves focused on that,” Seaver said, despite often having to make budget cuts.
Despite the challenges, Seaver has enjoyed serving the district.
“It’s so intellectually stimulating and I’ve learned so much,” she said.
Laura Vogt would likely agree.
The 43-year-old Mundelein mother of three children in the district has enjoyed being closely involved with decisions governing their education.
Vogt’s primary concern is maintaining district programs such as the fine arts.
“For a small district, we have a nice art program, a great band program,” she said. “I want to see that continue.”
Seaver and Vogt also said they are eager to work with Superintendent Joseph Petrella.
Petrella has been on the job less than a year and has focused on a number of areas, including technology, curriculum improvements and improving test scores.
Vogt said Petrella “is going to be able to take us into the future.”
Keith Loeffler, an incumbent running for his third term and the current District 76 school board president, also said he was impressed with Petrella.
“He has gotten off to a good start and we want to keep things going,” he said.
Loeffler, 53, is a 21-year resident of Vernon Hills with two children at Stevenson High School. Both went through the Diamond Lake schools.
With a background in accounting and finance, Loeffler first ran for the board eight years ago.
Loeffler said he continues to find school finance interesting and absorbing and is proud of the fact that there has been a balanced budget over the last few years.
Loeffler believes the district is in good shape and will only continue to improve, particularly in the area of technology.
“We’ve been tackling it on a piecemeal basis lately due to funding problems,” he explained. “We have a lot of work to do.”