Denise Wildeveld Tapped to Fill Open D161 Board Seat

Wildeveld, who served on the Summit Hill school board from 1999 to 2007, says her main priority will be to help find a creative solution to the district's more than $2 million budget deficit for the 2012-13 school year.

Denise Wildeveld has been chosen by the board to fill that body's open seat.

Board members will vote to officially appoint Wildeveld at next Wednesday's regular meeting. She will then be sworn in, .

Wildeveld was elected to two terms on the D161 board, serving from 1999 to 2007. During that time, she served as the board's secretary, worked on several committees and was involved in passing two referendums. Wildeveld has lived in the district for 20 years, and although her son and daughter are in college and high school, respectively, they both attended D161 schools.

"I am incredibly honored that they have chosen me to fill the open seat," Wildeveld said in a phone interview Wednesday night. "This board of education has worked very hard over the last six months--they've moved mountains--and I'm ecstatic to be a part of it."

and narrowed the field down to three candidates . Members used a points system to evaluate each candidate, with Wildeveld receiving the most points by a narrow margin, a school board e-mail stated. Board Vice President Joy Murphy said in an interview Wednesday night that the points system was the fairest method to use, adding, "Numbers don't lie."

"(Wildeveld's) eight years of experience as a school board member will help her hit the ground running," said board President Mary Kenny in a board e-mail. "Denise has regularly attended school board meetings for the past few years and is excited about the direction the district is moving. Her experience will definitely help when making the tough decisions that District 161 will have to make in the near future."

One of those tough decisions will be figuring out how to resolve the district's more than $2 million budget deficit for the 2012-13 school year, something Wildeved said is her top priority as a board member. .

"I want to work with (the other board members) to find creative ways to fix the deficit," Wildeveld said. "It's not going to be a very popular place to be for the next year and a half. I'm fully aware of that. You can't make everyone happy. ... Making cuts and doing those kinds of things is never popular decision."

"I know this deficit didn't happen overnight," she added. "I do know when I get on the board ... we're going to be fiscally responsible. But it needs to have a minimal effect on the students' education because that's what we're here for."

Wildeveld's time away from the board has given her a different perspective on the process, she said. She's been very impressed with what this board has accomplished since April, as well as how transparent it has been with its actions.

Although she expects there to be a slight learning curve, Wildeved said she doesn't think it will take long for her to get up to speed on the board. Some of that confidence comes from the fact that she's served with Kenny and board member Sean William Doyle before, and there's a comfort zone in those relationships. But it also stems from being able to draw on her past experience as a board member combined with her uninterrupted immersion in D161, Wildeveld said.

"Everything they've been through, I've been through," she said. "When I wasn't on the board, I still went to the meetings. And if I couldn't go to the meetings, I listened to the podcasts. Even though I wasn't on the board, I never went away. This school district has always been a passion of mine."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BOARD'S CHOICE? Tell us in the comments section.

Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 01:52 AM
RHLW I am sorry if I have said something that is offensive to you. I have read over my posts and do not see any statement I made that could be construed as sexist, racist, ageist, ability insensitive, religiously offensive or sexually orientation discriminative. Was that, "You are the pot calling the kettle black" an unsubstatiated slam against me? I thought it was Mrs. Wildeveld we needed to fear. Sadly, I am not finding you very charming.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:00 AM
It is offensive in terms of its use throughout history. You wanting to continue to argue the use of the word illustrates how insesitive you are. Of course, you, a male, are capable of feeling emotion. While I, a female, have the right to be offended by the use of the term. If it were a racial slur would you continue to use it and argue its validity?
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I am sorry you misunderstood. I was asking for facts relating to Mrs. Wildeveld's seat on the board. I find it offensive to judge people based on their level of education. Again, there are many accomplished individuals with limited education.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:14 AM
A point of clarification, you did say it was Cindy Bonzani's first term when the union endorsed her. I don't believe that is accurate.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:21 AM
RHLW I am neither new to the district nor playing dumb. I follow the happenings in the district closely. It seems when you are unable to address anything specific, you resort to name calling ("clueless", "dumb"), diversion ("I am not the only one") and more unsubstantiated statements ("toxic to this school district"). I haven't attacked you. I have simply pointed out what I percieve to be your inconsistencies. Lets agree to disagree on this and MOVE ON.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Please quote me so that I can understand where I said as a male you are incapable of feeling emotion. Male is not a race. It is a gender or physiologically speaking a sex. I actually said "you, a male, are capable of feeling emotion." The opposite of what you are accusing me of saying. By the way, I did not attack you, call you names, or anything of the like. You are spreading rumors about me, a total stranger to you, in this forum where my statements and yours are doccumented. You are making it hard for me to trust anything you say.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:46 AM
You clearly threw in the "without an education" statement as a slur. Of course, it is a point of interest during the election, not so much after it.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:51 AM
I did not say that you accused me of attacking you. I feel attacked by you (see "clueless"). I have said nothing that I can't substatiate, but please tell me where I said you as a male are incapable of feeling emotion. It is simply not true to say that I said that. You said I made slurs against the male race. Also not true. It gives me pause to think what else you have not been truthful about today.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:02 AM
RHLW Thank you for finally respecting my request to discontinue using a word many find offensive. I am not Mrs. Wildeveld, nor one of her ????????. I am truly unaware of the website, but find it curious you are convinced I know about it. Why do you think that? Is it something that was popular in the community? You have been inconsistent. You said Mrs. Bonzani was a first termer when the union endorsed her. You accused me of saying that men don't have feelings. You took offense when someone connected a name with you. (I defended your right to privacy with that by the way). Now you are trying to figure out who I am. I am sorry, but I found it distasteful the way this woman was being attacked and I wanted specifics to know if there was fact behind the statements.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I never offered support of any deragatory comments about anyone, including Mrs. Wildeveld, Mr. Pain and any male or female school board members. Again it is simply not the truth. No matter how many times you say that, it will not become the truth. I actually compared Mr. Pain to Abraham Lincoln, a compliment in my opinion. I don't know where you get that I support the negative stuff. If anything, I was trying to stop it here. Perhaps you have misinterpreted Mrs. Kenny, Mrs Nush and Mrs. Wildeveld in the same manner you have misinterpreted me.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:23 AM
If you wish to call it even and move-on, I would be happy to do the same. We are members of the same community and likely have the same goals of seeing our schools financially viable and academically successful. Did it ever to occur to you that i was one of the people interested in the open seat that Mrs. Wildeveld was chosen for? That is where my interest in this story came from. I just couldn't bear to see her bashed when I could have easily been in her shoes. We need to support our school board and its members, unless we have something constructive and specific to say. That is really all i wanted to express.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I repect your right to share that well stated opinion without inflamatory "dangerous" tpye statements. I have not heard anything negative about Mrs. Molinare, but would have done the same thing if I had. I would have asked for specifics so that I could form my own opinion. I don't think it is a reflection of Mrs. Wildeveld that you have had negative things to say about her. Perhaps Mrs. Wildeveld has strong opinions that some people enjoy and some don't. So it looks like you have strong feelings on this and I am going to wait, watch and see what happens.
informed January 06, 2012 at 03:55 AM
RHLW - you're talking about "pizza lady" who told her fellow board members they were uneducated. We were very happy LW 210 took Molinare off, it's ashame they couldn't take Sean too. She thinks she better then everybody, she belongs on LW 210.
informed January 06, 2012 at 04:19 AM
ALL - Thank God! I think RHLW fell asleep or his ammunition dried up.
informed January 06, 2012 at 04:24 AM
RHLW - Bonzani had all the requirements to fulfill her duty as a school board member... Which is not much - over 18 years of age, registered voter, lived in the district for a year,
Joe Vince (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Readers: This is a general reminder: Keep your comments civil. Personal shots accomplish nothing when discussing these types of issues. They come across as an attempt to mask an inability to make an effective argument. Everyone participating here is clearly passionate about these issues, and I encourage you to debate with as much passion as you can muster. Just do so respectfully, treating the people you disagree with the same way you'd like them to treat you. And that goes double for unfounded rumors and speculation. Spouting off about personal relationships or making thinly veiled accusations about wrong-doing without any facts is, quite frankly, irresponsible, unmitigated crap. If you can't--or are unwilling to--back up your claims with attribution or without hiding behind a pseudonym, then keep it to yourself. How would you view the reporting on Patch if I posted scandalous stories based solely on "the word on the street" and then didn't even use my real name? And what if those stories were about you? Making sure my reporting is accurate and responsible is something I take very seriously. I don't expect commenters to do the type of research I do (that's my job, and it's one of the reasons, I hope, why you keep reading), but they should consider the gravity of their remarks before making wild allegations. OK, lecture over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled commenting, already in progress. Joe Vince Local editor, Frankfort
informed January 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Molinare is a part time remedial math teacher at Joliet Jr. College WOW!.....what a tough job. She sat on Summit Hill Board for 10 years and still NOBODY knows who she is. That is sad....she was a "yes" person for Keith Pain, but that doesn't take an educated person...there are many college educated people on the board and that doesn't mean they are good board members. I know many college educated people that may be intelligent but ...no common sense. Molinare is the one I heard on the pod cast "that 80% of student taking a compass test to place in college classes have to take remedial math". Hey Dee by the way this is a problem. This 80%, many of which were from Summit Hill. RHLW, did she fight for a stronger math program. Oh NO the ISAT test show were doing a perfect job, and Dee believes these scores. We'll see if she takes her "professional information" to 210 and works to help our children....because she had NO intentions helping these students while sitting on 161 board. But, then again that would take work on her part. She never wanted to work she wanted to sit up like a prima dona and shoot one negative comment after another. You call that a teamplayer? Summit Hill is not perfect and we owe the children of this district an excellent education. Hey Dee why is Lincolnway North 4th out of 4...what are we NOT doing that the other LW's are? RHLW has to be Keith pain or Sean William, or Dave macek I heard he' out of work and has plenty of time on his hands.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM
It does seem Mrs. Molinare aligns her decisions with that of another board member. Dave Izzo was a strong member of the 210 board, a big asset in my opinion. Big shoes to fill for sure. Mrs. Molinare has a lot of experience. I wish she were a little stronger in her opinions, but I am catiously optimistic about her. Calling fellow board members uneducated, after the election, was probably a mistake. We all make them. Let's not call her pizza lady. Let's cut Mrs. Molinare and Mrs. Wildeveld some slack. When they make mistakes or have great success in their new positions, we can hash it over then.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 02:54 PM
RHLW "Your right" would actually be "You're right" in the context of your sentence. "Your" is a second person possessive adjective. "Your right" means that the person possess a right, like the 6th amendment right to a fair trial. Lets not try these women here on the internet. I wish them both success in their new positions, for the sake of the children of our community. If you are going to take an elitist approach, your people are "too classy" for our board, you probably want to check your use of the language. I thought we agreed to stop being so ugly, and in such a vague way again. You are resorting to name calling again ("not classy", "creeps") and it is not helping your cause. In fact, I bet Mrs. Molinare and Mr. Doyle would be embarrassed by your tactics. If I believed for one minute you were closely connected to any one of these public servants, Mrs. Wildeveld included, I would actively and tirelessly campaign against him or her with great enthusiasm.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Informed: I love your use of specifics. I really don't agree with calling Mrs. Molinare the "pizza lady". She has volunteered her time for the schools in our community and for that she deserves some respect. I am sure she feels she has done her best. Calling fellow board members uneducated is troublesome. The voters chose the board members with whatever level of education they possessed. Once the candidate is seated, it has no bearing. When that comment was made an open board meeting, I felt it was done to demean and I don't agree with that. I hope she realized she misspoke. Again, I am cautiously optimistic about Mrs. Molinare on the 210 board.
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM
RHLW Do you really think it was constructive for Mrs. Molinare to demean a fellow board member? Did it move the board forward? Was it productive in staying focussed on the issues the district is facing? It was probably unintended, a mistake. Are you really so narrow that when someone you support makes a mistake, you defend the indefensible by hurling insults? It is not helping your cause!
Square Mom January 06, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Informed Low blow on the "out of work" comment. If you stick to the facts, you will go much further in making your case. Teaching is hard work if it is done well. I would never disparage any teaching position, part time, remedial or otherwise. Again, a low blow in my opinion. You make some interesting points, but they get lost in the ugliness in my opinoin.
Are you kidding me? January 06, 2012 at 06:17 PM
What are the name of the other 13 canidates? Why is the podcast not up yet on the district website? It appears the only reason Denise is in is because she is a friend and has past experience. What happened to the other 13 canidates? Why were they not given a chance?
Joe Vince (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 09:40 PM
@Are You Kidding Me? The district is not releasing the names of the candidates, which is the same course of action Lincoln-Way High School District 210 took when it filled its open seat. But I am looking into this. The candidate interviews were done in closed session, so there is no podcast. Three candidates, including Wildeveld, were interviewed Wednesday for the position, and the board used a point system to evaluate each candidate. At the end of the interviews, the candidate with the most points was Wildeveld. This system also was used to determine the three candidates to be interviewed. That being said, why do you think the other candidates weren't given a chance? And maybe I'm misreading what you wrote, but are you implying that past board experience isn't a proper qualification for someone to be appointed to the open seat? Or are you saying that it shouldn't be the only or the most important reason? Joe Vince Local editor, Frankfort
CJS January 06, 2012 at 11:47 PM
@ are you kidding me? My neighbor was one of the three finalists interviewed for the board position. Although she was not chosen, she said "the application and interviewing process was comprehensive and professional." She felt like she was "fairly considered as a candidate." She also said she supports the board's decision. My wife and I thanked her for at least trying. How many of us can say we even filled out the application?
Stella Nyder January 07, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I would also like to congratulate our new board member, Mrs Wildeveld! I prayed for the right candidate to fill this position- as i am certain many others have prayed as well... God is hearing and answering our prayers. For this i am praising Him! He is faithful and just and loves us so much...even when we all can be so unlovable...and I am the first to admit that as well.! He even uses our mistakes for His glory! I am thankful, for His grace and mercy and forgiveness in Jesus that when we trust in Him and persevere through trials we can see His work in our lives and His purposes are revealed to us. I am looking forward to meeting you, Mrs.Wildeveld! I know you will be an asset to our new board as God will use your gifts to complement our current board members in the important work that needs to be done!. Praying for continued godly wisdom, guidance and strength and joy to all the board members and our administrators and our teachers in all that you do and continued safety for our students. Square Mom- you have taught me alot in your entries about respecting and caring for others...thank you!
get real January 07, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Isn't that what you do? mrumors and gossip?
get real January 07, 2012 at 11:32 PM
IN your opinion
Square Mom January 08, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Thank you Stella! I have added to my prayer list, "continued Godly wisdom, guidance and strength and joy to all the board members and our administrators and our teachers in all that you do and continued safety for our students." I assume you are the Stella that has prayed for our board at some of the meetings. It is a rare thing for one to have the courage to share one's faith so openly. You are an inpiration to me, and I hope to others as well. "Gentle woman, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom, teach us love." Your kindness and loving grace is appreciated.
Square Mom January 08, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thank you for reminding us about the power of words. "The flood of careless, unconsidered, cheap words is the greatest enemy of the profound word." -- Stephen L. Talbott


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »