Nine people, including the godson of the school board president, have applied for to fill the two vacancies on the Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education.

The vacancies were created when Lisa Gaynor and David Kodama abruptly resigned from the school board on the same day last month.

The nine who applied for the vacancies are Juliet Boyd, Martha Carlson, Alan Hu, Dan Hunt, Shari Klyber, Robert McCormack, Lynda Carey Murphy, Rich Regan and Jason Zak.

School board President Mary Rose Mangia confirmed the names of the applicants to the Landmark on Monday after they were distributed by former school board member Jennifer Leimberer in an email over the weekend.

Zak is one of Mangia’s nine godchildren. He grew up in Riverside and has been a parent since April according to Mangia. He attended District 96 schools and graduated from Riverside Brookfield High School in 2000. 

According to his LinkedIn profile Zak works has worked as a research analyst for Leavitt Capital Management since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Iowa and earned an MBA at DePaul.

Mangia said that she learned Zak was interested in the school board and initially encouraged him to run in the April 2015 election.

“When these openings came up he had already expressed his interest, so he sent in his resume,” Mangia said.

Mangia said she personally encouraged Zak and Boyd to apply for the school board openings, but she said Zak has no inside edge to be appointed.

“He’s no shoe-in,” Mangia said. “He’s been told we have some impressive candidates.”

Boyd is an attorney and the mother of two, one of whom is a fifth-grader at Central School. Boyd, who grew up in South Africa, spoke out last spring against the district’s early release plan. She was an ally of Karen Judy Foley, a vocal critic of the plan. Boyd served on the Instructional Time Committee created after Foley criticized the early release plan.

Murphy is in her third year as co-president of the Central School PTO. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Miami (Ohio) University and a master’s in sociology from UIC. She worked for a number of years as the data supervisor for a research project for the Northwestern University medical school before staying home with her kids.

“For me this just seemed like the next logical step,” Murphy said. “I have the time to devote to this and I already go the meetings and pay attention to everything, so I feel like I would be good fit.” 

Carlson is the mother of the three children who went to Hollywood School. Her youngest child is a sixth-grader at Hauser. She also has two daughters who are in high school. 

She graduated from New York University and has worked as an editor of consumer and trade magazines. She has also been active with the Hollywood School PTA, its Ecology Club and Scholastic Book Fair. She is a friend of school board member Art Perry and his wife, Jennifer.

Hu is an Ames School parent with a financial background. He works as a trade settlement and controls specialist for UBS. He has a degree in finance from the University of Houston.

Hunt has lived in Riverside for two years and is the parent of Hauser seventh-grader and a Central fourth-grader. He has a background in technology and works as a project manager for Thomson Reuters. He has a MBA from DePaul and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.

Klyber is a former teacher. She taught science for five years at Elmwood Park High School and has lived in Riverside for 13 years. She has two daughters, one of whom is a fourth-grader at Central School. She works part time as a private science instructor, designing and teaching courses to home schooled students. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in molecular and integrative physiology from the University of Illinois and earned a master’s degree in teaching there. She also teaches dance to preschool and elementary school age students at Principle Dance.

McCormack is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served for five years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, reaching the rank of captain. He currently works as plant manager of a material recycling plant for Waste Management. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Naval Academy, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 

He is an Ames School parent and is an acquaintance of board member Randy Brockway, who urged him to apply.

Rich Regan is the father of three children and has one child at Hauser and another at Central School. He works as the facilities manager for the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Prior to that he was the general manager of the Auditorium Theater for seven years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University.

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