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updated: 2/13/2018 1:18 PM

Glen Ellyn District 89 school board appoints Wheaton man to vacant seat

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  • Ben Yates

    Ben Yates

 
 

An executive of a metal casting industry group will fill a vacant seat on the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89 school board until the 2019 election.

Ben Yates, a Wheaton father of three, will succeed Giselle Sandi-Tapia, who announced last month she was stepping down in the midst of her first term on the board. The remaining six members interviewed a total of seven candidates earlier this month and unanimously appointed Yates to the seat Monday night.

"There were so many wonderful candidates. Any of them would have made a great board member," board President Beth Powers said in a statement Tuesday. "Ben stood out for the time he has spent in our schools, as a volunteer and a committee member. He understands how the district works, and the entire board is looking forward to working with him."

Yates, the vice president of the Schaumburg-based American Foundry Society, will take his spot less than two months after the board approved a plan to phase-in new attendance boundaries for elementary students. Yates, 40, served on district committees that studied rising enrollment in the district and boundaries.

Two of his children with his wife Kristin attend Briar Glen Elementary School in Wheaton. Their youngest will be attending kindergarten in the next school year.

Sandi-Tapia, director of mentoring programs at Rush University Medical Center, took her seat in spring 2015. She resigned because new opportunities in her career limited the time she had available to serve on the board, according to a district statement.

Voters didn't get to decide who fills Sandi-Tapia's place on the board because the vacancy opened with fewer than 868 days left in her term, a timeline set by Illinois School Code. Per board policy, the vacancy had to be filled no later than Feb. 22.

Yates has a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology from Ball State University in Indiana, and a master's degree in sports management from Florida State University.

He also has volunteered as a youth sports coach and with the district's Watch DOGS, or Dads of Great Students, a mentoring program for elementary school students.

The board last appointed a new member in September 2015. Haydee Núñez was chosen from a field of nine candidates to fill the seat left vacant by former board President Frank Zak.

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