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Local News

Lincoln-Way D-210 teachers union to hold board candidates forum

NEW LENOX – All 13 candidates for Lincoln-Way School District 210 are expected to show up to a forum Wednesday hosted by the district’s teachers union. 

The forum will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lincoln-Way Central High School, 1801 E. Lincoln Highway, New Lenox. It will be the first and possibly the only time all candidates will appear on the same stage at the same time, according to the Lincoln-Way Education Association, the district’s teachers union. 

Union President Tim Conway said the forum will start with questions from the public that were emailed and then open up to the audience for questions. 

The union has been taking questions from the public by email at lwea210@gmail.com

Conway said that in the past when the LWEA has held the forum, it was sparsely attended. This school board race will be the first since a series of controversies that began when the district’s dire finances came to light in 2015

“I’m anticipating more people this time around,” Conway said. 

He also said the LWEA will meet the day after the forum to discuss the candidates and the possibility of recommending or endorsing any of them. 

A previous forum for the candidates was held Feb. 2 by resident group Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers Unite, but only six candidates appeared, with the Citizens For 210 slate declining to attend out of concerns of bias

Thirteen candidates are competing for five open seats on the board. 

Those candidates include incumbents board President Dee Molinare, who was first appointed to the board in 2011; board member Chris Kosel, first elected in 2005; and board members Christopher Lucchetti, Joseph Kirkeeng and Joseph Kosteck.

Lucchetti, Kirkeeng and Kosteck were appointed to the board last year when several board members resigned

Kirkeeng and Kosteck are running with candidate Aaron Janik, a Mokena School District 159 board vice president, and have a political committee called Candidates For Lincoln-Way Excellence. 

The Citizens For 210 slate that is running are Karen Town, Lee Talley, Cathy Pleasant, Gus Yiakos and Ben Yomtoob. 

Town is a marketing specialist for Moraine Valley Community College; Talley is a former educator who’s previously worked with LWATU; Pleasant is a Will County deputy auditor who sits on the district’s finance and building committee; Yiakos is a teacher at Hillcrest High School; Yomtoob was a board member for Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103

Also running is Robert Ripp, a former LWATU vice president, and Beth Janus-Doyle, of Mokena, who teaches at Harold L. Richards High School.

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IF YOU GO

WHAT: District 210 candidates forum

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Lincoln-Way Central High School, 1801 E. Lincoln Highway, New Lenox

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