Jim Gates

For personal reasons, I have decided to withdraw my bid for election to a third term on the District 97 Board of Education. While the D97 school board is losing two amazing leaders in Graham Brislen and Vice President Amy Felton as they step down in April, a core of four highly intelligent, talented and collaborative members remain: Rupa Datta, Jim O’Connor, Bob Spatz, and Holly Spurlock. Furthermore, I am heartened by the number of outstanding fellow Oak Parkers who will vie for the three open seats on the D97 board. I am confident that the commitment to the community and cohesion of the board will continue into the future. 

It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve my community for 33 years as a public school educator and as a D97 school board member for the last eight years. I am grateful for the opportunity to develop the working relationships and friendships I have made with my remarkable colleagues across all six Oak Park governmental units. Finally, I will forever be thankful for all my friends and colleagues across Oak Park who supported my bids for election to the board by donating their time and energy and for their belief in my commitment to serve.

I look forward to completing my second term and working with my colleagues and the administration on behalf of all Oak Park stakeholders, especially the children of Oak Park. I will continue my volunteer activities for St. Giles Parish and for the Edward Hines Veterans Administration Hospital; I look forward to other opportunities to serve this extraordinary community and to new adventures with my family and friends. 

I have been blessed beyond words, both personally and professionally, because my life journey led me to Oak Park. 

Thank you.

Jim Gates

Oak Park District 97 board president 

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