A new member of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education is likely to be named and seated Wednesday night, Aug. 4, after the board meets in special session to interview candidates interested in filling the seat vacated as a result of board member Don Dobrino’s death. Dobrino, a former Gillespie High School football coach and faculty member, died July 4 at the age of 86.
Board members on Monday night voted unanimously to declare Dobrino’s seat vacant. Dobrino’s seat was marked with an orange and black ribbon during the meeting; a Miners football helmet and coaching cap sat on the table in front of his chair. Early in the meeting, Board President Mark Hayes called for a moment of silence in memory of Dobrino.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we have an empty seat tonight,” Hayes said, noting Dobrino served on the board for the past 25 years. “Don will be greatly missed. He was a great board member,” Hayes said.
Hayes said letters of application will be accepted from persons interested in being considered for the position until the close of business on Friday, July 30, Letters of application can be delivered to the district’s administration office, 510 W. Elm St., Gillespie.
Persons eligible to apply may not reside in Gillespie Township. Board rules prohibit more than two members from any single township and two members from Gillespie Township already sit on the board.
Applicants can be residents of Cahokia Township, the township where Dobrino resided, or any other township within the district with the exclusion of Gillespie Township.
Hayes said the board will review applications and interview candidates in executive session starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 4, with the expectation of voting in open session to appoint Dobrino’s successor later that evening. The new member is expected to take the oath of office and be seated Wednesday night.
Dobrino was last re-elected to the board this spring. The person appointed to his seat will serve until spring 2023 at which time the appointee can choose whether or not to run for election to the seat.