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The soon-to-be newest member of the La Salle-Peru Township High School Board is planning to provide elephantine levels of support to the district.
Dennis O’Keefe, who led L-P school candidates in votes, was unavailable for comment Tuesday night but he spoke with the NewsTribune on Wednesday. “I’m humbled by the results,” he said.
O’Keefe of La Salle is a retired L-P teacher and currently provides hay to circuses. As the lone non-incumbent in the race, O’Keefe during the campaign proclaimed he would “stop the madhouse mentality of fire, spend, build, tax and a ‘my way or the highway attitude’ at L-P,” among other negative comments aimed at the sitting board members.
After the election results came in Tuesday night, some of O’Keefe’s incumbent competitors said they hope he and the rest of board will be able to get past the campaign comments and work together to benefit the district.
O’Keefe said, “I hope to have a decent working relationship but I meant every word I put in the newspaper.”
Leading O’Keefe’s grievances are the board decisions last year to replace athletic director Greg Sarver in March 2012 and baseball coach Bill Booker and track coach Jake Burke in May 2012. In regards to Sarver, the board voted 6-0 (board member Dr. Peter Meier was absent), and in the cases of Booker and Burke the vote was 6-1 with board member Tony Sparks voting in opposition.
Considering those votes, O’Keefe said he plans to protect the district’s faculty, staff and coaches “like a matriarch elephant.”
The L-P school board next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. O’Keefe will be sworn in during that meeting.
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