Early results Tuesday in the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board election showed the two incumbents holding on to their jobs.
Board President Robert Bruno had 2,027 votes and Vice President Jason Loebach had 1,964, with 60.5% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial tallies.
The top candidate, however, was newcomer was Tayyaba Syed with 2,111 votes.
Five other challengers showed the following numbers: Chris Martelli with 2,066; Millie Sessions with 1,337; Abigail Emerson with 1,334; Jodee Dunham with 1,144; and Adam Collins with 1,064.
There are four board seats open.
Bruno, Loebach, Martelli and Syed favored the district’s approach to the COVID-19 crisis. All four received the endorsement of the teachers union.
The two incumbents, both elected four years ago, said the district has kept students safe by consulting health experts and adhering to ever-evolving state guidelines. Over the course of the pandemic, the district provided at least some daily in-person and remote learning and now leads a countywide initiative to address learning disruptions through a summer program for students.
On the opposing side, Emerson, Collins, Sessions and Dunham contended the board moved too slowly to restore full in-person instruction, pointing to families of special needs children who were struggling with the learning models. Dunham’s social media posts, some of which embraced a QAnon conspiracy theory adherent and showed resistance to mask rules, became campaign fodder in recent weeks.
Beyond the pandemic, new board members will confront long-standing issues with space constraints in schools as well as efforts to expand early childhood learning and offer full-day kindergarten.