Du Quoin Police Chief Jamie Ellermeyer has been sworn in as the newest member of the Du Quoin District 300 Board of Education.
"I decided to throw my hat in the ring when I heard that John Vancil was resigning," said Ellermeyer, who was seated at Thursday night's meeting. "It's something I had thought about doing for awhile."
During a series of special board meetings June 1, the board decided to seek letters of intent to fill the seat and advertised that in local newspapers and on the district website. They met to review applications and interview interested candidates. Within a month, the board had made their decision and appointed Ellermeyer to fill Vancil's unexpired term, representing the area outside of Township 6-1 until April 2019.
"It's truly a privilege to fill in for Mr. Vancil," Ellermeyer said. "I know all of the board members. They're very good people, and I truly appreciate that they chose me to serve.
"I have no political agenda whatsoever," he said. "I have worked to serve the city and to do anything I could to help our children and our schools. I will continue to do that as a board member, representing a school district that I am proud of."
Ellermeyer is a 1986 graduate of Du Quoin High School. After serving in the United States Navy for more than four years, Ellermeyer returned to Du Quoin and began his career with the Illinois Department of Corrections as an officer at Menard Psychiatric Prison and the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro.
During this time, Ellermeyer attended college and earned a degree in criminal justice. In 1997, he was hired by the Du Quoin Police Department as a police officer. For the next 20 years, he served in many positions, culminating in his promotion to chief.
"I am very proud of my service to the city of Du Quoin, and especially as chief of police," he said.
Ellermeyer also has served as the administrator of the Du Quoin Shop with a Cop program for more than four years, and is proud of his work to double annual donations from about $9,000 to $18,000. An average of about 100 local children now receive about $100 worth of gifts each Christmas, thanks to the Shop with a Cop program.
He also has been involved with the District 300 Education Foundation Board for more than five years, volunteering his time to ensure that local students "are given a fair and unbiased chance at receiving scholarships to further their education."
Board members and all in attendance gave Ellermeyer a round of applause when he finished taking his oath of office.