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Nelson retains seat, Clark and Buchholz join District 41 board in tight race

GLEN ELLYN – An incumbent kept her seat and two of three candidates on a slate joined the Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education as a result of the April 7 municipal elections, according to preliminary results from the DuPage County Election Commission.

The three victors – current board member Erica Nelson and newcomers Stephanie Clark and Kurt Buchholz – were separated by only 69 votes between the three of them, with Clark eking out the top spot with 1,680 total.

Nelson said she was excited to serve her third term, and believed her history on the board was the decisive element in the final standings.

"I am someone who does my homework – I am a hard worker on the board," she said. "I also see my role as a board member being in the role of governance and doing the work of setting that vision ... and [having] the responsibility for speaking for the taxpayer and the district at the state level."

Nelson said the board would have to hit the ground running on issues such as facility needs, full-day kindergarten and creating a broad vision for the direction of the district.

She welcomed the two new members, and said she looked forward to helping orient them after they are sworn in in May.

"To all of those who ran – it is a lot of work and takes a lot of energy and is a huge commitment," she said. "So huge hats off to everyone who ran in this race and showed their commitment to wanting to put their names on the ballot."

Clark and Buchholz ran on a slate with Kevin Rath, who came in sixth among the seven candidates behind Lori Taylor and Kristin Massey, and ahead of Jeff Cooper.

Both named full-day kindergarten as a major issue on the campaign trail.

Clark said that "the district is going to have to restore trust with the community" to move forward with the issue in a questionnaire for Suburban Life before the election.

The two also stressed more formalized evaluations for district programming to establish funding priorities.

"The district needs to prioritize its most important programs that are most effective so we aren’t always going back to the taxpayer to fund a new initiative," Buchholz said in the same questionnaire.

Neither Clark nor Buchholz responded to requests for comment.

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