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Unit 5 School Board Welcomes New Members, Expects 'Typical' Year

New school board members with Weikle
Unit 5
New Unit 5 school board members Kentrica Coleman, Jeremy DeHaai, and Stan Gozur, with Superintendent Kristen Weikle.

Three new members have officially joined the Unit 5 school board.

Kentrica Coleman, Jeremy DeHaai, and Stan Gozur were sworn in during Wednesday’s school board meeting at Normal Community West High School.

In emotional remarks, the board bid farewell to outgoing members Meta Mickens-Baker, Mike Trask, and Taunia Leffler -- none of whom sought reelection in the April 6 election. 

The departing members were lauded for their commitment to Unit 5 students, especially during the tumult of the past year. As the district sought to navigate learning in the pandemic, school board members were often left to bear the brunt of public reaction. 

"I know that there are times that you made many hard decisions that were weighty, but I know that each of you also took that responsibility very seriously and always did your best to represent all of your constituents," said Board President Amy Roser, speaking through tears.

"It's been a hell of a ride," said Trask. 

Things may be a bit easier for the newcomers.

Superintendent Kristen Weikle sounded a note of optimism, telling the board, “We do expect next school year to look more like a typical year where most of our students will be in-person five days a week.” 

Weikle said more details about the upcoming school year will be shared with families in June. 

Roser was re-elected as President by the new board. Kelly Pyle will serve as Vice President, and Barry Hitchens will serve as Secretary. 

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