Businessman Jim Pye squeezed past firefighter and former teacher Matt Saternus to claim the fourth available seat on the Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 school board Tuesday.
Joining Pye on the board will be recent board appointee Bob Kaplan, longtime incumbent Charlotte Kegarise, and district volunteer Kenneth Van Dyke.
With 79 of 80 precincts reporting unofficial totals, Kaplan led the race with 5,597 votes followed by Kegarise with 5,553, Van Dyke with 5,267, Pye with 4,189 and Saternus with 4,119.
All seats are for 4-year terms.
Kaplan attributed his longtime residence in the community as a main factor in his first-place finish.
"I've had a lot of friends and supporters," he said. "I had the support of the teachers and care professionals as well. A great amount of former students and players supported me."
The race was a relatively amiable one. All agreed the district is an enviable position compared to most other others in the region, boasting a financial health allowing it a greater emphasis on educational priorities.
Kaplan, 61, taught in the district for 28 years and retired as principal of Einstein Elementary School in Hanover Park six years ago. He was appointed to the board last summer to fill a vacancy.
Kegarise, 64, won her seventh term on the board. She said this year's election promised the biggest single turnover in the school board since her first election in 1993.
Van Dyke, 42, said he wanted to be more active in the district his young children attend. Though having attended board meetings and volunteered in the district for several years, he said he was waiting to have more experience before running for the board himself.
Pye, 57, as real estate director for Caleres -- the parent company of Famous Footwear -- said his business experience could benefit the board. He felt his particular strength was the ability to find mutual benefits in negotiations.
Saternus, 33, of Hoffman Estates is a Cicero firefighter but was previously a classroom teacher. He said he wanted the district to be proactive on any and all rising concerns such as growing class sizes.