February 25, 2024
Election


Election

One of five Genoa-Kingston School Board candidates stumps for voters as sole forum participant

Genoa Kingston Middle School sign in Genoa, IL

Editor’s Note: To read more election coverage, check out Daily Chronicle Election Central at shawlocal.com/daily-chronicle/election/. Coverage of all this week’s forums will be there.

GENOA – Only one of five candidates running for three seats on the Genoa-Kingston School District 424 school board appeared to address voters during a virtual forum this week ahead of the April 4 election.

The League of Women Voters DeKalb County and Northern Public Radio’s WNIJ hosted a virtual forum Wednesday for candidates for the Genoa-Kingston school board.

David Cleveland was the only candidate from his race to accept the league’s invitation to stump for one of three four-year terms set to be decided by voters.

“I want to get back to the common core structure of reading, writing and arithmetic and bring that back into the curriculum of Genoa-Kingston as well as the fiscal responsibility of the district.”

—  David Cleveland, Genoa-Kingston District 424 School Board candidate

Moderator Jan Dorner, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Elmhurst, gave Cleveland two minutes to pitch his platform. Cleveland has previously served a four-year term on the Genoa-Kingston board.

“I do bring the experience, four and a half years of experience, to the board in dealing with some tough decisions we had to make at the beginning of [COVID-19], as well as some tough financial decisions with reissuing some tax levy bonds,” said Cleveland, a father of two Genoa-Kingston schoolchildren.

Genoa-Kingston Community School District 424 School Board candidate, and former board member, David Cleveland was the only one of 11 invitees to attend Wednesday night's virtual forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County and Northern Public Radio. Cleveland was given two minutes to stump for his campaign and convince voters to return him to the board for a second four-year term.

Cleveland was born and raised in Genoa, and is a graduate of Genoa-Kingston High School and Kishwaukee Community College.

Genoa-Kingston school board incumbents Julie Ratliff, Mary Hintzsche and Melyssa Gustafson did not attend the forum, nor did incumbent Mark Bradac, who is running to fill an unexpired two-year term. Max (Jake) Wesner, seeking for a new spot on the Genoa-Kingston school board, also did not attend.

As an applications engineer, Cleveland said he wants to see the school district’s curriculum get back to basics.

“Some of the issues that I feel are facing not only Genoa-Kingston but other districts in Genoa are there are a lot of outside entities that are pulling the district into what they want to teach,” Cleveland said. “I want to get back to the common core structure of reading, writing and arithmetic and bring that back into the curriculum of Genoa-Kingston as well as the fiscal responsibility of the district.”

Another planned candidate forum for the Somonauk School District 432 board race did not move forward as advertised Wednesday after all six candidates seeking a seat did not show up. When reached, Deborah Booth of the DeKalb County League of Women Voters said all Somonauk candidates were invited.

Candidates for Somonauk School Board include Kurt Hohenberger, Elizabeth Kuhn, Erik B. Wold, Nicholas Deacon, Anthony Rogowski and Blake Johnson.

The 2023 Consolidated Election will take place April 4, but early voting and vote-by-mail began in February.

Camden Lazenby

Camden Lazenby

Camden Lazenby covers DeKalb County news for the Daily Chronicle.