The newest member of the Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 Board of Education is a nurse who specializes in infection control. That skill set was attractive to the other members of the school board and they chose Melissa Biskupic to fill a school board seat that was vacant because only three candidates filed to run for four seats up for election in April.
Biskupic will serve on the board for at least 2023, when there will be an election to complete the unexpired four-year term. She was picked from a field of nine applicants for the position.
Biskupic, who has a nursing degree from Northern Illinois University, works as the director of clinical operations for Maestro Consulting Solutions, which provides services to health care facilities.
In her job, Biskupic oversees efforts to prevent the spread of infections in 38 congregate care facilities located in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. She formulates policies, writes clinical practice instructions and oversees compliance.
A resident of LaGrange Park since 2007, Biskupic stepped down from her position as the president of the PTO at S.E. Gross Middle School after being notified that the school board has chosen her to serve. She was the S.E. Gross School PTO president for the last three years. Biskupic has two sons, a 15 year old who will be a sophomore at Riverside-Brookfield High School next year and a 13 year old who will be an eighth-grader at Gross.
The school board interviewed all nine candidates over Zoom in closed session. Biskupic was the only applicant to get a second interview.
Biskupic was sworn in at the start of the board’s June 10 meeting. Illinois law does not specify how a school board may fill a vacant seat on the board, so a vote in open session was not required to choose a new member of the board.
Biskupic has always been a parent who was involved in her children’s school, but the pandemic increased her interest in the school board and the way the district operated. Biskupic was one of a number of parents who spoke out at the school board’s February meeting, pushing for a return to full day, in-person instruction sooner rather than later.
“During this year of the pandemic I basically got more involved with the school board,” Biskupic told the Landmark last week.
Biskupic said that she was generally impressed with how school board operated in the past year. Her expertise in infection control and her experience as a PTO president made her a logical choice to fill the vacancy on the school board.
“I have longevity in the community, I have history with this school and I think with my specialty in infection control I have value to add while we work out of the global pandemic,” Biskupic said.
District 95 school board President Katie Mulcrone liked that Biskupic has a child who went through District 95 and another entering eighth grade.
“I feel that she has a good understanding of the full district cycle, and that’s very valuable to have board members who have that,” Mulcrone said. And then I would say that her medical background is a benefit in this COVID time. I’m glad we have her, I think she’ll be a great addition to our board.”
Biskupic, 46, grew up in downstate Illinois in the small town of Catlin, which doesn’t have a stop light and had a population of about 1,800 when she lived there. Her high school graduating class had 45 students and she played volleyball, basketball and acted in school plays.
She said she has no specific agenda that she wants to pursue on the school board, but she is especially concerned with the social and emotional development of children.
“I believe people catch up with academics, you can provide that support, but our goal is to try and raise good people and, especially in your grade school and middle school, how you’re teaching them to be good human beings is important,” Biskupic said.