Here’s who’s running for DeKalb County area school boards so far in 2023 election

Shaw Local 2021 file photo - Voters enter and leave the DeKalb County Legislative Center in Sycamore in April 2021, taking advantage of the last day of early voting before Tuesday's election.

SYCAMORE – Seven DeKalb County residents have filed to run for school board seats in the DeKalb, Sycamore and Genoa-Kingston school districts so far for the 2023 consolidated election.

Of those first seven to file, one is person is running for a spot on Sycamore Community School District 427′s school board, three for a position on the DeKalb School District 428′s school board and three for a school board seat with Genoa-Kingston Community School District 424.

The filing window to get on the April ballot runs through Monday.

DeKalb District 428

At least one incumbent and two new faces are hoping for their spots on the DeKalb school board ballot this spring.

Incumbent Samantha McDavid, who’s serving a second term as DeKalb School District 428′s school board president, will seek reelection on April 4. McDavid was first elected in 2019. She’s one of three DeKalb candidates who have filed as of Tuesday.

“I am running to stay on the school board board because I think it would be good for Dekalb school district to have some continuity on the board,” McDavid said.

Samantha McDavid is one of four new members who got elected to DeKalb school board April 30th during a special meeting.

The DeKalb school board is entirely composed of individuals serving their first term, meaning McDavid, 32, is as much a senior of the board as anyone else. So far, she’s the only incumbent to file for reelection.

“I know that even in this fourth year of my term there are things I’m still learning,” McDavid said. “So I think that it would be really nice if we could have a little bit of continuity and maybe increase some of our veteran board members.”

McDavid, who ran on community, integrity and equity in her 2019 campaign, said in her almost four years on the board that she’s learned that change usually comes slowly.

“There’s a lot of idealism, I think, when you’re first running and you think you have all of the best ideas and then you kind of get in there and you realize governance is not quick and it’s not always easy either,” McDavid said.

At least two newcomers have put their names into the District 428 school board race, including Steve Byers and Christopher Boyes. Neither Byers, co-owner of downtown DeKalb’s Byers Brewing Company and a former science teacher at Huntley Middle School, nor Boyes responded to requests for comment.

Sycamore District 427

As of Tuesday afternoon, Alexander Grados is the only person who’s filed to run for a seat on the Sycamore Community School District 427′s school board, according to the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s office.

If elected, Grados would be a newcomer to the board.

Genoa-Kingston District 424

Incumbents Julie Ratliff and Melyssa Gustafson have filed to retain their seats on the Genoa-Kingston Community School District 424 board.

Newcomer Max (Jake) Wesner also is throwing his hat in the ring.

Ratliff said her time on the school board has been education and said she had a lot to learn.

“I wanted to run again just because I feel like I kind of got the basics down,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff said she hopes the school board can pivot toward what she thinks the functions of a school board should be, now that crisis focus has been moved as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year.

“So now I feel like maybe there’s a little momentum on the second term to maybe have some impact on some other areas,” Ratliff said. “So I can turn my focus to other things, maybe some of the things that are ... going on down at Springfield. Legislation stuff or even just some stuff with the school board association.”

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