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Joliet grade school board bids farewell to two administrators

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:04 p.m. CDT

JOLIET – The Joliet Grade School District 86 board said an emotional goodbye to two of its assistant superintendents and hired one replacement Wednesday night.

Sandra Gavin, assistant superintendent of curriculum and education, is retiring after a 26-year career in the school district.

Sandra Thomas, assistant superintendent of student services, is leaving to become superintendent of Country Club Hills School District 160.

Both will leave at the end of June.

Gavin will be replaced by Elizabeth Yacobi of New Lenox, who comes from Kankakee School District 111 where she was assistant superintendent of curriculum for four years. Thomas’ position has not yet been filled.

Board member Christine Kim, whose children were former students of Gavin, got tearful as she told Gavin “all the kids wanted to say thank you and they love you.”

In her 26 years with the Joliet school district, Gavin was a teacher and had been principal at Eisenhower Academy. She became an assistant superintendent in 2010.

“My roots go deep in this district,” Gavin said. “I was actually a student teacher at Gompers Junior High 40 years ago where I met my husband.”

“I had opportunities in this district that I never thought I would have,” she added, “so thank you so very much for that. My heart is still here.”

Yacobi has 26 years of experience in education, including positions as a teacher and a principal.

“Her extensive experience as a curriculum specialist will allow us to benefit from her skill set,” said District 86 Superintendent Charles Coleman.

Thomas has been with the district for 11 years – nine as director of special services and two as an assistant superintendent.

“I always say that I work for children,” Thomas told the board. “I take my job seriously, maybe too seriously. Thank you for giving me that opportunity here in Joliet.”

In other business, the schedule for student registration was presented. Registration is required for all students. Dates and times are:

• June 17 to 30, Monday through Thursday only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• July 14 to 17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• June 24 and July 15, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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