After meeting in closed session for more than five hours, Tuesday night, the Riverside School District 96 Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Juliet Boyd and Rich Regan to the board.
The vote brings the D96 board up to its full complement of seven members. In August, Lisa Gaynor and David Kodama resigned suddenly from the board, leaving the vacancies.
Boyd and Regan will be sworn in during a special meeting that will be called for Tuesday, Oct. 7, prior to a scheduled meeting of the board’s education committee. They will serve until next spring, when both seats will be up for election.
A total of four seats on the board will be contested on April 7, 2015. Three will be four-year terms, while the fourth will be a two-year stint to complete Gaynor’s unexpired term.
“I think we have a strong board, and I like to think we picked people compatible and able to work with the other board members,” said Mary Rose Mangia, president of the D96 school board. “To a person, they are supportive of the work of the board going forward.”
The five board members who remained after the August resignations interviewed six candidates for the two open spots on Tuesday. Each candidate was given about a half hour with the board. Those not chosen by the board on Tuesday included Alan Hu, Dan Hunt, Robert McCormack and Jason Zak.
Mangia said that while each board member’s top three or four candidates differed somewhat, Boyd and Regan were among everyone’s top choices.
“I’d say it was consensus,” said Mangia. “These two were in the mix for everybody.”
Board member Art Perry agreed with Mangia’s assessment of the board’s consensus and expressed confidence in the group working together in the future. The first full meeting of the board will be the education committee meeting on the night the new members are sworn in. Perry is chairman of that committee.
“I’m happy with where we are,” said Perry. “I hope we can get back on track and move forward.”
Boyd, a native of South Africa, is an attorney who handles civil matters, such as contract disputes, real estate and construction law. She is also the past chairwoman of the International and Immigration Law Section Council of the Illinois Bar Association.
In D96, she was a member of the instructional time committee formed last spring to study the early release program. That involvement was important, said Mangia.
“That proved she wanted to get involved by being involved already,” said Mangia.
Regan has been director of facilities at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for eight years and was general manager of the Auditorium Theatre for seven years prior to that. Part of his job involves managing four collective bargaining units at the Lyric Opera. With the school board entering into contract negotiations with the teachers union, that experience was attractive, according to Mangia.
“He’d be cool under pressure on that,” said Mangia. “I think he’ll be actively considered for a role on that committee.”