There will be very little turnover on the Highland School Board after the April 7 election. Only one race developed on the School Board.
The lone contested race will be in Helvetia Township, where incumbent board member Joyce Zerban will be challenged by Robert Miller.
Zerban, 72, is a retired teacher and has been a Highland resident since 1977. She is also a member and grant writer for Highland Garden Club, and a member and past officer of Illinois Federation of Business Women.
She was a member Highland Parks and Recreation Commission from 2008-2014 and has served on Louis Latzer Library Board since 2000. She was first elected to the School Board in 2007. She also volunteers with Meals on Wheels, the HACSM food pantry and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Zerban is a widow. She and her late husband, Don, had five children, all are now grown. She has nine grandchildren, two who attend school in the district.
Rober Miller, 52, is retired from U.S. Air Force. He is a veteran of the first Gulf War, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
He is a teacher in the Alton School District. He became a Illinois certified teacher through McKendree University’s Graduate School Teacher Certification Program.
He has lived in Highland for 16 Years and is a member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Highland Hockey Club.
He and his wife, Debra, have been married for 30 years. His daughter is a sophomore at Highland High School and his son is a seventh-grader at Highland Middle School.
Incumbent Joe Mott will be running unopposed for the board seat representing Saline Township. Last fall, Mott was appointed to the board after Alyssa Bond resigned after moving to California. He was unavailable for comment, due to a medical issue.
David L. Raymond Jr. of Alhambra will also be running unopposed as a write-in candidate. Raymond will replace Greg Basler, who announced earlier he would not be seeking re-election after serving on the board for the last eight years.
Raymond, 53, is an automotive technology instructor North Technical High School, which is operated by the Special School District of St. Louis County.
He and his wife, Laurie, moved to Alhambra 29 years ago this August. They have four daughters, who all attended Alhambra Elementary and graduated from Highland High School.
Raymond has been involved in education for about 28 years with experience in secondary and post-secondary training programs.
He holds two AAS degrees from Lewis & Clark Community College in both diesel engine technology and automotive technology. He also holds a bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in human resource management, with a specialty in curriculum development and course design.
Raymond said many of the district’s problems come from higher levels of government.
“Many of the major issues impacting our district involve the lack of financing all state and federal mandates that have been required of us to provide,” Raymond said.
“As a School Board member I need to find ways to reach out to our local, state And federal government officials to help with school funding.
“My main goal is for our communities to be able to provide the best educational experience for our children that we can provide.”
Last week, Zerban and Miller were sent a list of questions by the News Leader. Their responses follow.
No one program should be disproportionally targeted for budget cuts. Everyone should “share the pain” equally. If future revenues decrease then all areas of the budget — Educational, Operations & Maintenance, Capital Project, Transportation, Tort, etc. — should see an equal percentage in funding reductions.
I also firmly believe in our superintendent, Mike Sutton. It is due to Mike’s foresight and expertise in school finance that we have recently been upgraded in the state financial status. Is it not ironic that we would not be in financial difficulty if the state would fully fund their obligation? Mike’s first thought in every financial decision is how it will affect each and every student as well as our educational staff.