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Victor Casini chosen as next District 86 school board president

HINSDALE – As school board members were sworn in Monday for District 86, a new board president also was unanimously chosen.

Victor Casini of Burr Ridge will replace outgoing school board President Dennis Brennan, who had held the position for six years.

"I have enjoyed my time with all the board members," Brennan said during his departure. "The school district I leave tonight is better than the school district I came to eight years ago."

Casini was a parent who led a coalition against R-rated movies being shown in a Hinsdale South High School class last year. His appeal to the board ultimately failed.

On Monday, Casini said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the nomination.

"I was really humbled to serve as president, but I realize I'm one of seven board members and my job is to just keep the meetings moving along in an efficient manner," Casini said.

Brennan, DeeDee Gorgol and Dianne Barrett departed from the board Monday night.

Gorgol wished the new board the best and challenged its members to keep their campaign promises. Barrett, who was more critical during her closing remarks, encouraged the board to be more transparent – letting the public see the same records the board sees.

Barrett has sued the district in order to get access to documents pertaining to the special education program. She is stepping down from the board after eight years.

The new members sworn in included Casini, Ed Corcoran and Claudia Manley. Incumbent board member Kay Gallo also took the oath of office.

While the vote for school board president was unanimous, the vote for vice president was contested between Manley and Jennifer Planson. The "Friends for District 86," along with Richard Skoda, backed Manley while Planson earned support from Gallo and Michael Kuhn.

Manley won the nomination, 4-3.

Planson was nominated for secretary, but withdrew her name. Kuhn then was unanimously selected.

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