UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.
The four new District 113A board members released the following statement Tuesday evening:
"We would like to thank the Lemont community for electing us to these important positions and entrusting us with overseeing the education of the children in our community. The task ahead is not easy, as many difficult decisions need to be made, but we will provide the best education we can with the resources we have, in an open and fiscally responsible way.
“We have a dedicated group of teachers and staff, children eager to learn, involved
parents, and supportive businesses and community members. We look forward to
working together with board members Kevin Doherty, Karen Siston and Lisa Wright
to determine the way forward for our district.
“Over the next few weeks we will be attending board training and an in-house team-
building retreat. We ask the community to be patient with us as we familiarize ourselves with the workings of the District”.
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's Board of Education seated four new members, three of whom were elected as officers, during a special meeting Monday night.
Newcomer Mike Aurelio was elected as the board's new president, replacing current board member Lisa Wright. David Molitor was elected to the office of vice president, replacing current board member Kevin Doherty.
Cindy Kelly will serve as the new board secretary, replacing Andy Taylor, who lost his bid for re-election.
Aurelio, Molitor and Kelly were the lone nominees for the respective offices.
New board member Al Malley, who also was sworn into office Monday night, turned down a nomination by Molitor to serve as the new board treasurer.
Current District 113A Treasurer Jay Tovian will continue to serve in his position.
Although District 113A Superintendent Tim Ricker said it is very rare for incoming board members to be chosen as officers, the newcomers said they are up to the task.
"I'm very happy the board trusts me to serve as president, and I look forward to working closely with Dr. Ricker and Lisa Wright as we transition in the coming weeks," Aurelio said. "I ask for everyone's patience as I get myself up to speed, but I'm a quick learner so I'm confident the board will be able to hit the ground running."
Molitor said he was excited about his new position and encouraged by the board's first meeting.
"I thought things went really well tonight, and that we were able to have a great discussion," he said. "We have a really solid group. Even though we might have different opinions, I think we'll be able to talk things through and come together to make important decisions."
The new board has already scheduled training sessions, as well as a special meeting on May 9, so board members can begin discussing issues like the closing of Central School.
"We're just trying to start off on the right foot and come into the next regular board meeting (May 16) as informed as humanly possible," Kelly said.
Malley said he was happy with the new group of officers, and added that he only turned down the treasurer position because he thought it would be too much work for a board member.
"I was flattered to receive the nomination, but I think it's uncommon for a board member to take on that role," he said. "It would essentially be like taking another job, and I think that would take away from my existing commitments to the Board of Education."
During the meeting, outgoing board members Taylor, John Wood, Susan Murphy and Janet Hughes were recognized for their years of service to the district.