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Downers Grove

Four winning candidates ready to go to work in District 99

DOWNERS GROVE – Voters picked the four active candidates in the District 99 School Board race Tuesday and avoided electing the two names on the ballot who had previously dropped out.

If either of the two drop-out candidates had been elected, the board would have had to pick someone to fill the seats.

"Things would have gotten stalled for awhile until all that got sorted out," said Rick Pavinato, the only newcomer elected Tuesday night. "The voters did the right thing, they voted in the four people who were trying for those spots."

Incumbent Julia Beckman led with about 19 percent of the vote Tuesday.

"It's always nice to know that people support what you've been doing for all these years," said Beckman, a five-term incumbent first elected to the board in 1993.

Incumbent Deb Boyle came in second with about 18.9 percent. A third incumbent, Teresa Pavesich, had about 18.4 percent and Pavinato had about 17.6 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the DuPage County Election Commission.

Despite having dropped out of the race, both Martin Gorski and Henry Jakobsze had a sizable percentage of votes. Gorski claimed about 13.9 percent of the vote while Jakobsze had 12.2 percent.

Pavinato is a high school teacher in another school district, he said, and also has an MBA and business experience, two traits that he said give him a unique perspective on the board.

An initial priority for him is making sure the board does what it needs to do to help staff prepare for implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Math.

"The high school district and District 58 have to be able to work together to implement that, and get what needs to be put in place, so the kids that are taking math are successful," he said.

Both districts are beginning to implement the Common Core State Standards – which re-aligns curricula to new state criteria – first in math and language arts, and then in other subjects. In math, that means the traditionally separate courses like algebra, geometry, stats and others will be taught in an integrated fashion, as opposed to the more familiar method of one course per year.

Beckman also listed the switch to the Common Core State Standards as an item of focus, along with continuing to keep the budget within the revenue stream.

"We're really going to have to monitor the progress (of implementing the standards) to make sure the students have the support they need," she said.

Pavesich, a two-term incumbent, also lauded the board's efforts to keep the budget within revenues.

"We've negotiated three teachers contracts within the revenue stream," she said. "And our student test scores keep improving. And so in that regard, we are headed on a good path and we're just going to work hard to keep that momentum going."

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