After 14 years of serving his community, District 95 school board member John LaBarbera announced his resignation from the school board in early March.
A Brookfield resident who has served the district since 2002, LaBarbera decided to resign because he will be moving out of district to far west suburban St. Charles.
When LaBarbera first joined the board, he was appointed to fill a vacancy, never imagining he would serve the district for so long.
“[Former District 95 board president] Jim Landahl was instrumental in talking me into giving the board of education a try,” LaBarbera explained. “I can honestly say all these years later that it was the best advice I ever received.”
An insurance business attorney, LaBarbera said he enjoyed serving the parents and children of District 95 as much as he did representing his business clients.
“By serving on the board, I would be able to participate in shaping and directing education and our community,” LaBarbera said.
LaBarbera worked with 19 different board members and numerous administrators through the years.
“Many [board members] have become very close friends, and I truly value those friendships to this day,” he said. “The teachers and administrators in District 95 have always been generous with their time and talents and wonderful to work with.”
With LaBarbera’s leaving the board, the district is looking to appoint someone to fill the position until next spring.
Until April 8, the board is accepting letters of interest from qualified district residents. The board will evaluate applications on April 14 at the district’s regular school board meeting.
The appointee will serve until April 2017 and then have the option of running for the remainder of LaBarbera’s unexpired two-year term.
Superintendent Mark Kuzniewski says LaBarbera’s resignation has not negatively impacted the board.
“The board is pretty fluid,” he said. “His resignation doesn’t stop any of the district’s efforts to move forward.”
Kuzniewski says District 95 remains grateful for the difference LaBarbera made during his tenure.
“I think John was a very integral part of the district’s curriculum committee. Most of the work he spearheaded as chairman of that committee has really been completed or is ongoing. John was really influential.”
LaBarbera expressed confidence that the board will continue to tackle the issues it faces moving forward.
“The district faces many challenges, but I am confident that our community can meet those challenges and flourish.”