District 200 board president thanks administration, fellow members

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

The District 200 Board of Education will seat its new members and say goodbye to outgoing trustees on Thursday, May 2, during a special board meeting.

With that in mind, outgoing board President Terry Finnegan shared reflections at the regular session, April 25, about his four years as a D200 trustee and what he thinks lies ahead for the new board. He spoke earlier in the meeting. As the current board president, Finnegan joked that he was exercising a little power to take over the meeting at that point.

Finnegan's final meeting is tonight, along with Dietra Millard, Valerie Fisher and Amy McCormack.

Finnegan thanked Supt. Steven Isoye for moving the district in the right direction, and for the good working relationship they've had. He thanked James Hunter, the Faculty Senate chair at Oak Park and River Forest High School, who was absent at last week's meeting. Finnegan also had kind words for the board secretary, Gail Kalmerton, for helping new and current board members stay on track with the agenda.

He again thanked Cheryl Witham for her financial stewardship of the school. Witham announced earlier this spring that she was leaving to become assistant superintendent for finance and operations at New Trier School District 203 on July 1. Finnegan then turned his attention to his fellow outgoing D200 members.

"These three ladies each had the good sense to know when they should take their leave from the stage. Others of us have to be pulled kicking and screaming, but these ladies know when their time is up," said Finnegan, who lost his re-election bid last month.

He acknowledged Fisher for returning to the board after serving three terms. She was appointed in June 2011 to serve out the term of Jacques Conway, who had resigned from the board a month earlier.

It was April 2009 when Finnegan and McCormack both joined the board. McCormack chose not to seek re-election this time. Finnegan called her a friend as well as a colleague.

"Amy and I came on together and developed a very dear friendship, and we found ourselves simpatico on most issues, and it's always interesting when we're not," he said.

Lastly, Finnegan thanked Millard, who was serving as board president when he came aboard.

"If I've learned at all how to do this job, it was because I was able to sit next to Dee," he said.

The other members then thanked Finnegan for his service before continuing with the rest of the meeting's agenda.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com

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