Vernon Hills woman appointed to District 128 board

A Vernon Hills woman has been appointed to replace a Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board member who recently pleaded guilty to violating election law.

Lisa Hessel was tapped for the post during a special District 128 board meeting Monday night. She replaces Ellen Mauer, a Libertyville resident who resigned in March after nearly 13 years on the board.

Fifteen people applied for the volunteer post, a district spokeswoman said, and five finalists were interviewed by school board members Monday.

Hessel is the parent of a Vernon Hills High sophomore. She volunteers at the school and in Hawthorn Elementary District 73.

In a news release, Hessel said she is "passionate about the district being an environment that enables students to reach their full potential."

School board President Pat Groody said officials are "thrilled" Hessel has joined the panel.

Mauer's term was to expire in 2021, but Hessel will be up for election in 2019 because of the appointment.

Mauer, who also is principal at Spaulding Elementary School in Gurnee, was indicted last year on four felony counts of perjury.

She was accused of falsely claiming she was present during the circulation of her candidate petitions for the April 2017 school board election.

Mauer pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor count of disregarding election code last week.

She was sentenced to one year of court supervision, a fine and public service.

Denise Zwit, assistant to Superintendent Prentiss Lea, pleaded guilty to the same charge. Zwit falsely said she was present while petitions were being circulated for Groody, who wasn't accused of wrongdoing.

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Ellen Mauer
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