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D-86 moves forward behind new president

Claudia Manley
Claudia Manley

HINSDALE – Business is planned to carry on as usual in the aftermath of Victor Casini stepping down as school board president July 8.

“Victor had a difficult job and he was having difficulty with the time commitment,” said Claudia Manley, who took over as board president following Casini’s resignation.

Casini will still remain on as a member of the Board of Education.

While Manley has not served as a board president before, she has served on Darien School District 61. Just five days after her
term ended there, she was sworn in at District 86 in April.

Some of her goals now include improving collaboration among board members and moving toward an active committee structure.

“Going from 61 to 86, it’s a larger district, a bigger budget and in my opinion you have to run it that way,” she said in regard to forming committee structures.

Manley said her kids have been through both school systems at each district, so familiarity with the schools helps her as well.

Newly elected Vice President Ed Corcoran said he believes Manley has “great” qualifications for being board president.

“She also got the most votes, so there’s something to be said listening to the voters and taxpayers and who they empower to run the board,” Corcoran said.

Corcoran said there were some “fireworks” about him being elected as vice president from the previous board members, but said he respected their seniority, including that of Richard Skoda, who has been on the board the longest.

“I discussed with Rick before the meeting, and he said that he would prefer not to be the vice president because he said it didn’t suit his personal life at this time,” Corcoran said.

Corcoran said he was not surprised by Casini’s resignation because of the different obligations board members will face in their careers and believes Casini had to put his career and livelihood first.

“I support his thinking because we would like all the board members to be successful in their personal lives as well,” he said.

With Casini’s resignation, Manley and Corcoran said their goals have not changed from the time they first sought spots on the board, including activating the committee structure, improving the budget and bettering transparency for the community.

But that will take the effort of everyone on the board.

“I’m not above them,
I’m not below them, I’m just equal to and elected just like the other six,” Manley said.

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