The Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 board filled out its ranks last week, appointing the losing candidate from April’s local elections to fill a seat vacated in March by a board member’s resignation.
Pasquale “Pat” Speziale came in fourth place last month in the race for three seats, about 400 votes behind third-place candidate Christopher Blackburn. The other two seats were won by incumbents Lynn Waterloo and Thomas Powers. Waterloo, Blackburn and Speziale took their oaths of office at the board’s May 10 meeting. Powers was absent, and will be sworn in at the board’s next meeting.
Speziale will serve the remaining two years on outgoing school board member Jon Dunker’s term. Dunker’s resignation was announced on March 22. Speziale, the only member of the board who lives in LaGrange Park, said he applied for the seat after the election.
District 95 board President James Landahl said the board received just one other application for the empty seat, also after the April election. He said the board decided to appoint Speziale because of the commitment he had shown by actually running in the election, as well as for his background in construction.
“He seems to have a good grasp of governance and the role the board of education plays in the district,” Landahl said. “He also has professional experience in regards to construction materials, and we felt he would be beneficial as we go through our construction and renovation projects.”
Speziale said the outcome of the election didn’t deter him from accepting the appointment, and he is looking forward to contributing to the district. Before the election, he said his main priorities would be monitoring the cost of the upcoming construction projects at Brook Park and S.E. Gross schools, building upon the district’s curriculum and finding new sources of revenue for the district.
“I’ll do as much as I can to be a constructive board member,” he said after last week’s meeting.
The May 10 meeting also marked the last meeting for school board member Stephen Hyzny, who was elected two years ago as a write-in candidate to fill an unexpired term. Superintendent Thomas Hurlburt thanked Hyzny, a computer networking instructor at Westwood College, for his service to the district, especially in terms of helping to bring new technology to both schools.
“He hit the ground running with this board, and has been a tremendous force in trying to move the district forward,” Hurlburt said.