Two veteran school board members and two newcomers are vying for three seats on the Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 Board of Education in this spring’s election. Three of the four candidates live in a two-block area of Sunnyside Avenue in Brookfield, and two live on the same block.
School board President Lynn Waterloo is seeking her fourth term on the school board and 11-year veteran board member John LaBarbera is also running for re-election. Current board member Chris Blackburn has decided to call it quits after two terms on the board. Newcomers Brian Pencak and Karen Winslow round out the field.
Winslow, 41, teaches English at Thornton High School in Harvey. She lives only a couple of houses down from LaBarbera on Sunnyside. Although they don’t know each other well, Winslow talked to LaBarbera to find out what being a board member is like before making her final decision to run for the school board.
Winslow says that her experience as a teacher would be an asset on the school board.
“I’m invested in education,” Winslow said. “My daughter is 1, and I’m interested in full-day kindergarten being brought to the district.”
Winslow hopes the district decides not to enlarge Brook Park Elementary School. She would prefer that the district build a new school to accommodate increased enrollment that is anticipated in coming years.
“I would hope that the space could be found to build a kindergarten through second grade building.”
Pencak, 40, is the only candidate in the race who does not live on Sunnyside. He is the father of two daughters who attend Brook Park. He works as an architect for Concept 3, an architectural firm that specializes in school construction. He has worked on design projects for Congress Park School in Brookfield and Ogden School in LaGrange.
Pencak said. “I’ve worked with a lot of administrations and superintendents and business managers, and I feel that I could bring my experience as a licensed architect working with school districts to help Brookfield LaGrange Park School District 95.”
Until this year Concept 3 was the architect for Riverside Elementary School District 96, but Pencak said that he only played a very small role in the recent renovation of all of the schools in District 96.