Debra Evans and Patricia Farrell
Three seats are up for the District 13 Board of Education this year. One of the seats a race between Debra Evans, who is serving as the vice president this year, and Patricia Farrell, who ran for an open seat last year. The winner receives a three-yeaer term.
The District 13 Interschool PTA and the Educational Foundation will be co-sponsoring a Meet the Candidates night on Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at the James A. Dever School. Members of the public will be invited to ask questions.
Voting will take place along with the school budget vote on Tuesday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at James A. Dever, Howell Road, Wheeler Avenue and Willow Road schools.
A school board working toward a common goal is going to be successful, says Debra Evans, and she sees that taking place in District 13. That is why she is running for her fourth term on the elementary Board of Education.
“Our group has come together for a single purpose,” says Evans, the board vice president, who also held the position six years ago. She added that she believes District 13 is a showcase of doing “what we can with what we have.”
In recent years, Evans said the board has become more creative as the need grows to do more with less. For example, she said, the district was able to secure donations of computers.
She said the board also encourages district staff members to come up with their own creative solutions. “I’d like to think that we’re encouraging open lines of communication,” she said, “that we’re willing to consider any ideas.”
Evans said one of the hallmarks of the district’s budgeting process has been thinking long-term and setting aside money over a few years for major projects, such as to repave a parking lot or replace a roof. An energy performance contract executed last year, she said, allowed the district to fund major upgrades without costing taxpayers, and will provide energy savings for decades.
The district must continue to manage its reserves, she said, as the tax cap limits the amount of revenue it can collect.