OPRF High School [FILE]

The race for the four open seats on the District 200 school board has become a bit less crowded after sitting board member Craig Iseli announced earlier this month that he’s withdrawing from the race. 

“It’s been a difficult couple of years and I need some chance to reflect on what’s happening and recharge a little bit,” Iseli said on Monday. 

“We’ve accomplished a lot of stuff, but it takes a lot of energy and with so much going on, I need some time to reflect before getting back in the fray.” 

With Iseli out of the race, that leaves just one incumbent, board member Tom Cofsky, still in the running. Fred Arkin,

who served a term on the board before narrowly losing his re-election bid in 2017, is the only other candidate with previous experience on the D200 board. 

Iseli, who has served one term on the board, ran successfully for a seat in 2017, after having served on the District 97 school board for two years. He was appointed to that board in 2015 to fill the seat left vacant after the untimely death of Peter Traczyk. 

Iseli declined to discuss his decision in too much detail, adding that he’ll have more to say at his final meeting as a school board member. 

With Iseli out of the race, there are now six candidates vying for a seat on the board. Along with Cofsky and Arkin, those candidates include: David Schrodt, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kebreab Henry and Elias Ortega. 

Iseli will likely have a say in the selection of Oak Park and River Forest High School’s next superintendent. Iseli, who is the CEO of a Chicago company he co-founded, will also have a hand in helping the district navigate the current hybrid learning landscape.  

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