Officials in Lake Park High School District 108 on Monday appointed a 20-year teaching veteran to fill a vacant seat on its board of education.
Claire Adachi of Roselle will fill the seat of Patty Szerlong of Itasca, who served on the Lake Park board from 1996 until her death from pancreatic cancer in late June.
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The post expires in April 2011, when Adachi must run for election if wants to retain her seat.
Adachi said Monday she hopes her new role will allow her to help shape the school's direction and continue its successful programs.
In her application for the post, Adachi said she prides herself on being fair and open-minded.
"(As) a team player, I like to look at all sides of issues before decisions are made," said Adachi.
Board president Barb Layer said Adachi was chosen from a pool of four "outstanding" candidates.
Layer added that Adachi's teaching background combined with her fresh ideas during interviews last week helped Adachi stand out.
Currently, Adachi teaches eighth grade at St. Walter School in Roselle.
She holds a teaching certification for grades six to 12, as well as a master's degree in teaching.
In addition, she has previously served on the boards of several community organizations, most recently the Illinois Air Force Academy's parents organization.
Her two children graduated from Lake Park in 2004 and 2006, and Adachi said her family initially moved to Roselle years ago because of District 108's reputation.