A new look for District 200 school board

Moore, Weissglass, Cofsky and Gevinson for OPRF High School

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See a recap of our liveblog coverage here.

The District 200 Board of Education has four new members, representing a major power shift on the board.

It was a clean sweep for newcomers Tuesday night. Candidates Jackie Moore, Jeff Weissglass, Tom Cofsky and Steve Gevinson were victorious over nine other candidates. They'll join incumbents Ralph Lee and Sharon Patchak-Layman, both in their second terms, and first-termer John Phelan.

Phelan was the top vote-getter in the 2009 election. Weissglass took the top spot Tuesday night in the crowded field of 13. He racked up nearly 5,300 votes, or about 16 percent. Moore came in second with roughly 4,900 ballots cast, or 15 percent of the vote. Cofsky and Gevinson tallied 13 and 11 percent of the vote respectively. Cofsky tallied roughly 4,100 votes and Gevinson about 3,600.

Current D200 trustee Terry Finnegan, who is also the current board president and the only incumbent on the ballot, was seeking a second term.

Weissglass, 55, spent election night at Winberie's in Oak Park with family, his campaign team and volunteers. Speaking to Wednesday Journal after all 46 precincts reported, Weissglass said he felt really good about the results.

"It was a fascinating campaign because there were so many candidates running. So many of us were learning as we went," said the first-time candidate. "I felt like I had a good support team and people who have run campaigns before. And there was a good camaraderie with the other candidates."

Moore, 49, watched returns at her home with family and friends. She told the Journal that she was thrilled and grateful to win.

"I am relieved and quite happy that my message resonated with people and they came out to vote for me. It feels like a mandate and I'm happy it turned out that way," she said.

During the campaign, Moore, like many of the hopefuls running, talked of bringing new ideas to the board. The new school board, which will be seated in May, could likely sweep Moore into a potential governing majority. But she said she hasn't thought about that just yet. Instead, Moore she stressed the importance of having a congenial working relationship on the board.
"The current board members have all been very supportive of my campaign and ideas. I'm looking forward to a collegial environment and not a 'we have more than you situation,'" Moore said.

Gevinson spent his election night at Molly Malone's with friends and family. Gevinson says he's looking forward to working with his fellow board members. A former OPRF teacher and division chair, he doesn't see his role on the board as adversarial, adding, "As long as there is a lot respect, things will work out well."

This was the most candidates ever to run for the D200 board, which governs Oak Park and River Forest High School.

As votes started trickling in early in the evening, Moore was the top vote-getter. With 3 out of the 46 precincts reporting, Moore had more than 200 votes, followed by Weissglass, who also garnered just over 200 votes. They were followed Cofsky and Julie MacCarthy. By 8 p.m., with 15 precincts reporting, Moore, Weissglass and Cofsky began to pull away from the rest of the field. Gevinson moved into fourth place later in the evening.

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Posted: April 10th, 2013 8:28 AM

We'll see how this turns out in practice, but it strikes me that people are looking for a change in the old guard.

OP Rez  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 7:24 AM

I enjoyed reading about Jackie Moore celebrating with her family and friends at home. That speaks volumes about her as a person and hopefully how she will be as a Board member. This isn't about grandstanding or becoming a local celebrity, it's about doing what you believe and doing what is right for OPRF. She is an intelligent, sincere, compassionate person. Congratulations, Ms. Moore. Although I didn't support all the people elected tonight, I wish them well as they serve our district.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 10th, 2013 4:51 AM

Congratulations to all of you for winning a seat on the D200 board. I hope when you begin your term that you keep in mind not only the needs of the HS but the needs of the taxpayers as well. You are sitting on a hugh reserve that the taxpayers would never have willingly bestowed on the HS. I hope you use it very wisely or return it. We will be watching.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 9th, 2013 10:30 PM

Congratulations to the new team! My only disappointment was that Julie MacCarthy did not make it into the "final four". This is a real opportunity for you all to turn the image of the high school board around, and I wish you the best of luck. And, Julie, keep at it - your voice on the Board would be of significant value. Two more years!

OPRF Parent  

Posted: April 9th, 2013 10:06 PM

Congratulations to Moore and Weissglass, two of the best candidates we have had for school board in a long time.

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