Palatine District 15 board, not voters, to choose Bokor's successor

  • Richard Bokor

    Richard Bokor

Updated 1/7/2015 2:57 PM

The Palatine Township Elementary District 15 school board next week will begin the process of choosing a new member to complete the term of Richard Bokor, the board's vice president and former high school teacher who died Sunday from colon cancer.

The board has 45 days from Bokor's death to name a successor who will serve until April 2017. Members will start the work at their Jan. 14 meeting.


Officials say voters won't get to elect Bokor's replacement because his death occurred with fewer than 868 days left in his term, a timeline set by Illinois School Code.

The board will seek resumes and other paperwork from applicants. Members can interview candidates in closed session, but will vote on the appointment in a public meeting. If they can't agree within the 45 days, then the regional superintendent of schools picks who fills the seat.

If the last time the panel appointed a new member is any indication, the opening could attract a crowded field of hopefuls who must be at least 18 years old and live within the district, among other requirements.

Fourteen people applied for a seat left open by Mark Bloom's controversial resignation in 2011. He stepped down citing job reasons, but some board members accused him of resigning before a deadline that would have allowed voters to choose his replacement.

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The board, despite legal debate about the timing, ended up appointing David Seiffert, who was elected to a full 4-year term in April 2013.

Bokor was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in September but seemed to be responding well to treatment.

The former Fremd High School history teacher and track coach, whose past students rallied around him as "Bokor's Army," was first elected to the board in 2009. Bokor, 66, was tasked with updating the board on how state politics impacted the district.

"He was a man with a big heart, always focused on children," Superintendent Scott Thompson said Wednesday. "He wanted to make sure we work tirelessly to provide the best education for kids."

Visitation will be held 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, 185 E. Northwest Highway in Palatine. Family and friends will meet for visitation from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2515 W. Palatine Road in Inverness. A funeral will follow at noon.

Instead of flowers, donations may be made to Food For The Poor/Julie's Holy Family Project, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073, or the District 15 Educational Foundation, 580 North 1st Bank Drive, Palatine, IL 60067.

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