2 former district workers to join two incumbents on Danville school board

DANVILLE — The Danville school board will have two new but familiar faces in May.

Newcomers Darlene Halloran and Lon Henderson, both former district employees, won seats on the board in Tuesday's election, along with incumbents Randal Ashton and Frank Young.

"I'm just so grateful for all of the support I've been given, and I'm honored to be able to serve the community and the district," said Halloran, the leader in the nine-way race.

Unofficial vote totals show that Halloran garnered 2,322 votes, Ashton received 2,107 votes, Young got 1,827 votes and Henderson got 1,715 votes.

They were followed by newcomer Johnnie Carey, who received 1,527 votes; incumbent Dan Brown, 1,233; newcomer Phyllis Roth, 1,222; incumbent Greg Hilleary, 1,168; and newcomer David Woodrow, 886.

The top four vote-getters will be seated when the board reorganizes on May 6. They will serve a four-year term.

Halloran, who spent close to 15 years as a counselor and division chairwoman for counseling at Danville High School and spent the last 10 years as the educational liaison for Mervis Industries Inc., said she's eager to serve in her new capacity.

An experienced mediator, she said one of her first priorities is "to have a hand in creating a better working relationship with the union, the teachers, the administration and the board.

"We really have to work together and be on the same page to forge through the difficult times we're going through," said Halloran, who wants to see the Danville Education Association's contract settled.

Henderson, a retired district special education director, who currently works part-time as a student teacher supervisor for the University of Illinois, also said he's thankful for the community's support.

"I'm really happy to have this opportunity to serve the community and our boys and girls of District 118," Henderson said, adding he's eager to get up to speed on board issues and "find my role on the board and figure out how I can assist it."

Ashton said he is thrilled to be elected to his third term. He looks forward to working with new members and said the board has a lot of work ahead of it, including settling the contract, finishing the renovation at East Park Elementary School, aligning curriculum to Common Core State Standards and learning how "to do more with less" funding, among other things.

Hilleary, the longest-serving current board member, said he was disappointed that he wasn't returned to a fifth term. But "it's been a great 16 years," he said, adding the board has accomplished a lot during that time.

"There's a huge amount of work still to do, and I wish them well," he said.

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