The Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95 Board of Education ushered in some notable changes at its meeting on May 12, giving a fond sendoff to a longtime board member, welcoming a newcomer and appointing new board leadership.

Michelle Maggos, who was elected to the board in 2013, takes over as the new board president, replacing Lynn Waterloo, a longtime board member who ascended to that position in 2015.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Zoltoski was elected vice president of the board and Barb Garvey was appointed secretary. Both Zoltoski and Garvey were also elected to the board in 2013. All three of the new board officers are teachers; Garvey and Maggos are elementary education teachers, while Zoltoski is a college professor.   

Meanwhile, the school board voted to appoint Brian Pencak, a Brookfield resident and licensed architect, to fill the position vacated by John LaBarbera, who announced his resignation earlier this year because he’s moving out of the district.

The school board formally recognized LaBarbera at their May 12 meeting by presenting him a plaque and recognition award for dedication and service to District 95.

Waterloo, who has served alongside LaBarbera for almost her entire 13-year tenure on the board, spoke kindly about her colleague, saying his performance was always top-notch.

“I wish to recognize Mr. LaBarbera for always bringing his A-game to the table and recognize the many hours he’s devoted to the various committees he’s served on [along with] his professional expertise, leadership in board negotiations, collegiality with other board members, vision of educational success for the school and long service to District 95 and the community,” Waterloo said.

LaBarbera thanked board members past and present for making his time serving the district both memorable and worthwhile.

“I don’t think people appreciate how much time and effort people give to the community as a whole when they’re on the board of education,” LaBarbera said. “If I’ve been able to help in any way, I’m just grateful that I can give the car to someone else without too many dings and scratches.”

Maggos said the board selected Pencak from a field of three applicants, because of his consistent, ongoing interest in district issues. He’s a regular at board meetings and he ran unsuccessfully for a spot on the school board in 2015.

“Brian was unanimously chosen due to his attendance at board meetings, his prior participation at committee meetings and his experience as an architect who specializes in K-12 education architecture,” Maggos said.