2023 Board of Education candidate bio: Gilbert Wagner

Jake Pfeiffer, News Editor & Copy Editor

This story is a part of The Central Times’ coverage of the 2023 Board of Education election. The election will take place on April 4. For more information, click here.


Gilbert Wagner is one of five candidates running for a seat on District 203’s Board of Education in the 2023 Consolidated DuPage County elections. 

Wagner is a “blue-collar worker,” and previously served on the West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education for eight years. He also served on the SASED (School Association for Special Education in DuPage County) Board of Control for six years. Wagner’s youngest child currently goes to school in the district.

“I bring a different look to the board than what’s out there right now,” Wagner said. “I think that’s important. You gotta have diversity. You gotta have different people with different backgrounds.”

After watching board meetings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeing “the way some of the parents were treated by the board,” Wagner made the decision to run for school board.

“The primary reason [I’m running is] to be a voice for the parents and students of the district,” Wagner said. “[I will] advocate for those stakeholders.”

Listening to those stakeholders is one of the candidate’s primary priorities.

“I’m gonna be there for all the people no matter what side of whatever issue there is,” Wagner said. “They need to have their voices heard, and be able to have their time to talk and feel welcomed to talk. I want people to feel welcome, and to reach out to the public. Be transparent with the school board what they’re doing. Make sure everybody knows exactly what’s happening.”

Wagner also believes that these voices should be heard when policy decisions are made.

“Ultimately the taxpayers have to have a say in [policy decisions],” Wagner said. “You have to take [administration recommendation and what taxpayers want] into account together and make sure that it’s going to be good for all students.”

The thread of community involvement is present in many of Wagner’s beliefs about the Board of Education.

“I think anytime you make a decision that’s controversial or different, or that involves community input, you need to take your time and get as much community input as you can,” Wagner said. “Forums, open meetings, stuff like that where you can have as many people involved.Whatever you need to do to get as much involvement as you can before you can make a decision.”


Click here for CT’s full conversation with Wagner, or here for full coverage of the election.