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The caucus process in 2008-2009

Starting in April 2008, the DPS 109 School Board Caucus met a total of five times over the year. Members were required to attend at least two School Board meetings before slating candidates in fall 2008.

 
For the first meetings prior to the interviews, Caucus members reviewed and revised questions for the five-page candidate application for Caucus endorsement, talked about how to publicize the process and recruit candidates, and discussed how best to conduct the candidate interviews.

 

In all, more than 20 Deerfield residents requested applications. Of those, eight turned in completed applications and were invited to interview with the Caucus. All of the Caucus members reviewed each of the candidates’ applications.

 


Immediately following the second round of interviews, the 23 Caucus members launched into a five-hour discussion, weighing the merits of each of the candidates one by one.

The first round of interviews took place on October 28. Each candidate gave an opening statement and then took four previously prepared questions from Caucus members. The second round of longer interviews was held on November 6, with each of the candidates again fielding four previously prepared questions from Caucus members. The floor was then opened for a spontaneous question-and-answer session, followed by a closing statement from each candidate.

 

Immediately following the second round of interviews, the 23 Caucus members launched into a five-hour discussion, weighing the merits of each of the candidates one by one.
 
Once debate was closed, Caucus members cast their votes by secret ballot to endorse candidates for the four available seats. Candidates needed a two-thirds majority to be slated.

 

After several rounds, the four endorsed candidates, Ellen London, Deborah Muller, Michael Rosenbaum, and Mark Levitt, were slated.

 

Noted first-time Caucus member Patricia Reese, “What has impressed me the most during the debate—and generally throughout the entire process—is how each of the Caucus members upholds the fundamental importance of education to our community and how seriously each member took his or her responsibility in the process of recruiting, interviewing, and finally, endorsing the candidates.”

 

The four candidates, Ellen London, Deborah Muller, Michael Rosenbaum, and Mark Levitt, were elected to the DPS 109 School Board on April 7, 2009.