The vacancy left by the death of an Englewood School Board member will be filled by Kevin Ebert, a father of two who has lived in the district for 22 years. He will be sworn in on Nov. 7.
The board held a special meeting Oct. 29, and spent almost three hours interviewing and evaluating five finalists before unanimously selecting Ebert to fill the board vacancy created by the death of Gene Turnbull.
“My commitment will be second to none if I am selected to be on the school board,” Ebert said at the conclusion of the interviews. “Englewood schools are and have always been near and dear to my heart. I will continue to be active in the district no matter tonight’s decision, because my goal is to have people lining up at the door to get into our schools.”
Ebert is an accountant and comptroller for a number of agencies. His 20-year-old daughter attended Englewood schools and is now in college, and he also has a 13-year-old who attends Englewood Middle School.
“I want to work to have a united community and district, fluid enough to met the needs of all the students coming into the district,” Ebert said.
By the cutoff date for candidates to file for the November election, there were three candidates to fill three board vacancies — including Turnbull, who was seeking re-election — which meant the election was canceled. However, Turnbull then died on Sept. 4.
The board began the process to fill the vacancy by requesting applications, and settled on five finalists — Ebert, Angela Schmitz, Sharon Scheminske, Linda Kapler and Brent Boland.
The Oct. 29 meeting to interview finalists was held in the school administration building. The four school board members plus the two incoming members — Tena Prange and Jason Sakry — each asked a question. All candidates answered each question. After the interviews, Prange and Sakry left during the board discussion designed to result in an appointment.
“This will be a very difficult decision because you are five excellent candidates,” Scott Gorsky, board president, said to the candidates at the end of the interviews. “Each of you has commitment, dedication and passion to help our district achieve its goals. Any one of you would be an asset to the board. No matter the outcome tonight, we need to make sure each of you remain very involved in this district.”
After a lengthy discussion about the interviews, the responses to the questions and the individual demeanor and personality of each candidate, Board Member Vicki Howard nominated Ebert to fill the vacancy and board members voted 4-0 to approve the appointment.
The school board will meet in regular session Nov. 7. At that time members Gorsky and Tom O’Connor will complete their terms and vacate their seats so Prange, Sakry and Ebert can be sworn in to complete the new makeup of the board.