Peoria Public Schools District 150 elections (2014)

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2014 Peoria Public Schools District 150 Elections

General Election date:
March 18, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Peoria Public Schools District 150
Peoria County, Illinois ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Illinois
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One seat on the Peoria Public Schools Board of Education was up for general election on March 18, 2014. Challenger Sue L. Wolstenholm defeated incumbent Laura Petelle for the District 3 seat.[1] District 3 represents schools on the northern edge of Peoria.

Wolstenholm withdrew from the race on February 21, 2014 but her name still appeared on the ballot.[2] A group called Change150 supported Wolstenholm in the general election to protest the current superintendent and board members. Wolstenholm will not accept her seat and the board will fill the vacancy within 45 days of the end of Petelle's term in July. The appointed board member will serve until the next board election in March 2015.[3][4]

About the district

See also: Peoria Public Schools District 150, Illinois
Peoria Public Schools District 150 is located in Peoria County, Illinois
Peoria Public Schools District 150 is located in Peoria, Illinois, which is the county seat of Peoria County. According to the United States Census Bureau, Peoria is home to 115,021 residents.[5] Peoria Public Schools District 150 is the 13th-largest school district in Illinois, serving 14,183 students during the 2010-11 school year.[6]


Peoria outperformed in comparison to the rest of Illinois in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 32.7% of Peoria residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 31.1% for Illinois as a whole. The median household income in Peoria was $45,772 compared to $56,853 for the state of Illinois. The poverty rate in Peoria was 22.2% compared to 13.7% for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2010[5]
Race Peoria (%) Illinois (%)
White 62.4 71.5
Black or African American 26.9 14.5
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.3
Asian 4.6 4.6
Two or More Races 3.6 2.3
Hispanic or Latino 4.9 15.8

Presidential Vote, 2000-2012[7]
Election Year  % of Democratic Voters  % of Republican Voters
2012 44.2 53.7
2008 32.8 66.3
2004 46.5 52.6
2000 48.8 49.1

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

Method of board member selection

The Board of Education consists of seven members elected by geographic district to five-year terms. There was no primary election and the general election was held on March 18, 2014. There is one seat up for election in 2015 and 2018. The board elections in 2016 and 2017 will each feature two seats.[9]

A candidate for the Board of Education must be 18 years old, a resident of the district for one year and a registered voter. Candidates began to file nominating petitions on August 6, 2013. The filing deadline for school board candidates to get on the ballot in the general election was November 4, 2013.[10]




Election results

Peoria Public Schools District 150, District 3 General Election, 5-year term, March 18, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSue L. Wolstenholm 68.6% 3,793
     Nonpartisan Laura Petelle Incumbent 31.4% 1,735
Total Votes 5,528
Source: Peoria County Elections, "Cumulative Report-Official," April 1, 2014Peoria Election Commission, "Election Night Results," accessed April 9, 2014</ref>


Wolstenholm was backed by a community group called Change150 in the general election.

Campaign finance

As of January 23, 2014, no candidate filed a campaign finance report with the Illinois State Board of Elections.[11]

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

Change150's campaign for Sue Wolstenholm

A community group called Change150 asked voters to choose Wolstenholm in the March 18 election despite her withdrawal from the race. Wolstenholm stated that she would not accept office if elected, which would force the board to choose a new member. Change150 believes the policies of superintendent Grenita Lathan and the current board drive away experienced teachers and discourage academic improvement. The group gained support from the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[13] The following themes for the 2014 campaign were stated on Change150's website:

  • Model of Leadership – Organizational flexibility which gives principals, teachers, support staff and parents more control over decision making for their unique schools, rather than a top-down, arbitrary model of leadership and control. This empowers individual schools to tailor the learning curriculum and environment to their students.
  • A 3rd Party Review of the Environment within PSD 150 – Have an independent investigation and evaluation of the organizational culture within the district to determine if there is a pattern of fear and intimidation. Even the reputation of such a culture discourages the retention and recruitment of high quality educators. This also destroys the spirit of the staff and ultimately has a negative impact on the education of our students.
  • Coaching for the School Board – Continue training with the Association of School Boards and retain a consultant to coach the School Board on their proper role in leading the district, on how to act responsibly for the sake of the community and on how to manage the superintendent. Fresh perspectives will bring insight and foster cooperation between all the parties who want the best for the students of PSD 150.
  • Board Composition – Change Board Member terms from the current 5-year term to a 4-year term, and re-evaluate internal district boundaries and Board representation from each. District 150 is one of the few in the state with 5-year terms. Other districts have found shorter terms to be more effective. Shorter terms provide greater accountability and checkpoints to evaluate board performance.
  • Seek and encourage input for the Vision and Strategic Plan for PSD 150 – Seek and encourage input from local teachers, administrators, support staff and parents. Rather than a mandated plan, all stakeholders need to be included in the process. Involvement in the process results in ownership and fosters innovation and the best possible education for the students of PSD 150.


—Change150's website (2014), [15]

February 8th candidate forum

The League of Women Voters sponsored a candidate forum on February 8th featuring both candidates for District 3. Petelle stated that another five-year term was necessary to promote alternative education, gifted education and vocational education courses. Wolstenholm criticized district officials for deliberating in closed sessions to deal with issues including land purchases and testing issues at Charter Oak Primary School. Petelle countered Wolstenholm's critique by noting that the board and district officials were required by state law to decide some issues away from open session.[16]

The forum also highlighted differences between the candidates on the district's public perception. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis suggested during his State of the City speech in January that the district was heading in the wrong direction. Petelle expressed frustration with the mayor's speech, suggesting that Ardis has alternated between open support and criticism of district policies. Wolstenholm echoed Ardis in stating that the district's public profile needs help from the entire community.[16]

Issues in the district

Tensions with school resource officers

District officials arranged for city police officers to serve as security personnel at three high schools in early January 2014. This arrangement has created tensions with the district's 150 school resource officers, who were armed personnel responsible for school security. The district stripped resource officers of their ability to carry weapons in fall 2013. This decision led to the decertification of district resource officers as law enforcement personnel by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Resource officers have criticized the district for failing to communicate the agreement with the Peoria Police Department. The Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 114, which represents resource officers, claims the switch to city police officers violates the officers' collective bargaining agreement.[17] The district is currently negotiating a more comprehensive agreement with city police to provide security throughout the district.[18]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Peoria Public Schools District 150 election in 2014:[10]

Deadline Event
August 6, 2013 First day to circulate nominating petitions
October 28, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions
November 4, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions
March 17, 2014 Last day to file pre-election campaign report
March 18, 2014 Election day

Additional elections on the ballot

The Peoria Public Schools election took place on the same day as the statewide primary election. These primary elections included seats in the United States Senate and U.S. House as well as the race for governor. Peoria residents also voted for the Peoria County Board, County Clerk, Treasurer, Sheriff and Regional Superintendent of Schools.[1]

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Peoria Public Schools District 150 News Feed

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Peoria County Clerk, "2014 General Primary Candidate Filings," accessed January 22, 2014
  2. Pam Adams, Peoria Journal-Star, "Sue Wolstenholm drops out of District 150 race," February 21, 2014
  3. Alex Rusciano, Peoria Public Radio, "Sue Wolstenholm unseats D 150 school board incumbent Laura Petelle," March 18, 2014
  4. Alex Rusciano, Peoria Public Radio, "‘Change 150’ group targets third district school board race," March 4, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 United States Census Bureau, "Peoria, Illinois," accessed January 23, 2014
  6. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed January 23, 2014
  7. Peoria County Clerk, "Election Results," accessed January 23, 2014
  8. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  9. Peoria Public Schools District 150, "Board Policies," accessed January 23, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Peoria Public Schools District 150, "Notice for Filing Nominating Petitions," accessed January 23, 2014
  11. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Candidate Filing Search - By Name," accessed January 23, 2014
  12. Peoria County Clerk, "City of Peoria Sample Ballot," accessed January 23, 2014
  13. Pam Adams, Journal Star, "Change 150 coalition lists goals," March 14, 2014
  14. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  15. Change150, "The Core Issues," accessed March 16, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 Chris Kaergard, Journal Star, "District 150 candidates square off at forum," February 8, 2014
  17. Journal Star, "District 150 police in the dark about deactivation," January 6, 2014
  18. Peoria Public Radio, "PPD officers in District 150 High Schools," January 7, 2014