By Terry Dean
The District 200 Board of Education seated its new members on May 2 and also elected new board officers.
Tom Cofsky, Jeff Weissglass, Jackie Moore and Steve Gevinson were all sworn in, with their friends, family and supporters in attendance. Afterward, the new board elected a new president, John Phelan. Weissglass was elected vice president, a rarity for a new member, and Moore was elected the board secretary. Outgoing members Amy McCormack, Dietra Millard, Valerie Fisher and Terry Finnegan were thanked for their service. The retiring members also spoke about their time on the board.
Fisher, who previously served 12 years on the board before returning in 2011, remarked that she has served with nearly 30 other members. Appointed to serve out the remaining term of Jacques Conway, who resigned, Fisher said she was pleased to contribute to some important issues facing the high school, including resolution of the TIF dispute with the village of Oak Park.
Millard, who served two terms, talked about learning from her fellow members.
"I felt that I needed all of you to help me to understand what I really needed to know to serve in this position. I thank my fellow board colleagues for challenging me, asking me questions and disagreeing with me, helping me see things in a broader vein." McCormack, who served just one term, expressed mixed feelings about leaving.
"This has become such a big part of my life over the last four years," she said, noting a conversation with her son about leaving.
"My 19-year-old son tends to be the philosophical one in our family, so I was talking to him on the phone the other day and I said, 'Wow, I'm going to feel a little bittersweet about this. Do you think I'm going to feel bittersweet?'
And he paused and said, 'Nope,'" McCormack recalled to general laughter from the audience. In his brief comments, Finnegan thanked the entire staff in the building for their hard work. Ralph Lee, Sharon Patchak-Layman and Phelan all had kind words for their departing colleagues.
The outgoing members were also given a plaque by Supt. Steven Isoye for their service.
In related news, the District 97 Board of Education was seated on May 7. Incumbents James Gates and Amy Felton were sworn in along with new member Graham Brisben.