DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur Public Schools Board of Education announced on Tuesday that its president is stepping down from the role and retiring later this month.

Dan Oakes was first elected to the Board in 1991 and has served continuously since 1998. During that time, Oakes played an instrumental role in many collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the renovation of Decatur’s high schools, several superintendent searches and, most recently, the BOLD plan to revamp school facilities throughout the district.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on the Board immensely, both the good and the bad, but it’s time for me to move on, time for a change,” Oakes said.

That change will take him to Florida, a move the Board said has been in the works for over a year. His last meeting will be on Tuesday, August 23.

“President Oakes has been a steady force on the Board for more than 20 years and we appreciate his leadership tremendously,” said Superintendent Dr. Rochelle Clark. “We wish him nothing but the best as he heads for retirement in Florida.”

Board policy states that the Board has 60 days to fill the vacancy. The person selected to fill the vacancy will serve the remainder of Oakes’ term until the next Board election in April of 2023.