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Local News

ELECTION 2013: Deitemyer, Kerrigan and Bushnell take D113A election

LEMONT – David Deitemyer, Patrick Kerrigan and Brian Bushnell were elected to the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education in the April 9 consolidated general election, according to unofficial vote totals.

“I think that the village was fortunate to have five candidates, all of whom were very genuine and very earnest,” said Deitemyer.

Deitemyer, Kerrigan and Bushnell received 21.3, 21.13 and 20.86 percent of the 4,879 votes cast, respectively, and have each been elected to serve a four-year term on the board.

“It's always good when the community chooses you,” said Bushnell. “I'm honored.”

Candidates Susan Petrarca and Michael Clausen received 19.55 and 17.16 percent of the votes, unofficial totals showed.

Outgoing board members Kevin Doherty, Lisa Wright and Karen Siston did not seek re-election.

District 113A has faced significant financial challenges in recent years.

The district reached a deficit of nearly $3 million, its lowest ever, in June 2008, said Business Manager Barbara Germany. District 113A was placed on a “financial difficulty” list by the Illinois State Board of Education in December 2009 and remains on state watch.

Major layoffs were approved in early 2010, which led the district to cut 70 staff members and caused class sizes to rise significantly, Superintendent Susan Birkenmaier said. Simultaneously, funding for extracurricular activities, band and choir was reconfigured so that booster clubs and parents covered to costs instead of the district.

The district has not invested in curriculum, technology or facilities since 2010.

District class sizes average 27 to 36 students per class, Birkenmaier said.

When asked about their top priorities for the district, both Kerrigan and Bushnell cited lowering class sizes and prioritizing technology and curriculum. All of the new board members addressed the importance of cohesion among the board, touching on issues such as increasing trust in the board within the community and cultivating respect among board members.

“I look forward to working with the current board members,” said Kerrigan.

Voter turnout on election day in the district's 14 Cook County precincts was 10.65 percent, while 16.6 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the five DuPage County precincts. In total, 1,919 ballots were cast in the district election.

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