New Board of Education Members for District 99 - Apr. 2023

New Board of Education Members for District 99 - Apr. 2023

Community High School District 99 in Downers Grove congratulates newcomers Kara Casten, Ken Dawson and Don Renner on their successful campaigns to serve as members of the District 99 Board of Education. Each will begin a four-year term and  take the oath of office on May 15, 2023, after the DuPage County Election Commission provides the official election results. 

Also at the meeting, the Board will elect officers and establish future meeting dates and times. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Administrative Service Center, located at 6301 Springside Avenue in Downers Grove.

“We look forward to welcoming Kara, Ken and Don as members of our School Board,” says District 99 Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele. “Serving as a member is a huge commitment, and we look forward to collaborating with the members to ensure the continued success of our students and schools.” Renner previously served the Board from 2015 to 2019.

District 99 also thanks Dr. Nancy Kupka, Michael Davenport and Joanna Vazquez Drexler, outgoing members who did not seek reelection, for their service on the Board. 

Dr. Kupka joined the Board in 2011; she served as a member for two years and became president in 2013. She served as a representative to The School Association for Special Education in DuPage County (SASED) Board of Control and Governing Board from 2017-2019, advocating for providing comprehensive services for students with special needs. Dr Kupka also serves on the Executive Committee of the Legislative Education Network of DuPage.  

“Our schools have reaped the benefits of Nancy’s service,” says Thiele. “She has always been the biggest cheerleader of our staff and students, courageously leading us through tumultuous times during the pandemic and other challenges.”

Davenport also joined the Board in 2011, and served as a member before becoming vice president in 2019. He served on the district’s policy and financial advisory committees and as a representative to the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) Governing Board.

“Mike has always brought a thoughtful voice to all Board discussions, and his leadership was particularly impactful during the Master Facility Plan renovations,” said Thiele. “As a professional architect, Mike knew what to expect during the renovations and was able to help the district educate the community about timelines and benefits.” 

Vazquez Drexler joined the Board in 2019, and has served as a representative to SASED advocating for students with special needs. 

“As a former social worker, Joanna has brought a unique perspective to the Board, and she has been a tremendous advocate of students,” said Thiele.

“All three members leave a positive legacy of support for public education, and we are grateful for their service to District 99,” said Thiele.

For more information about District 99, please visit