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Sugar Grove resident joins Kaneland board

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SUGAR GROVE – Peter Lopatin was seated Monday night as the newest member of the Kaneland School District 302 Board. Lopatin, a Sugar Grove resident, was sworn in at the board's meeting at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.

Lopatin emerged from a field of five candidates. He regularly attends board meetings, and he is a member of the Kaneland Citizens Advisory Committee and the Kaneland Arts Initiative. He is married to Diane McFarlin, the assistant principal at Kaneland High School, and he is the stepparent of a Kaneland student.

He fills the seat vacated by Joe Oberweis, who has moved to Batavia.

Lopatin participated in the board's meeting Monday, asking questions on a presentation about the district's online and "blended learning" plans. Lopatin previously sought to run for a board seat, but because three members were from Sugar Grove Township, he was unable to serve. Oberweis was from Sugar Grove, and his departure allowed a Sugar Grove Township resident to take a seat on the board.

Cheryl Krauspe, the school board's president, said "the level of experience for all candidates was impressive." Interviews took place Saturday.

Another candidate for the position, Sugar Grove Township resident Jerry Elliott, praised the process. Elliott, another regular at board meetings, said he would explore a run at a board seat in the future.

"I'm very happy with the board itself and the performance of the school district," said Elliott, who added that he can "get upset" about the spending done at times. For instance, Elliott and Sugar Grove Township resident Dan Nagel recently pushed the board to explain why a warranty couldn't be located to help pay for roof repair work that had to be done at John Shields Elementary School in Sugar Grove.

Elliott said he intends to continue going to board meetings.

"More people should be involved and participate in it," he said. "Why aren't there more people coming out to the meetings? … It makes no sense to me."

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