The Brookfield-Lyons School school board kicked off the new year by closing the book on a contentious and unsettling 2005. Last week District 103 board members unanimously voted to name Stickney resident Arturo Gudino as the board's newest member, replacing Humberto Andrade, who resigned his post on Nov. 28, 2005.
Gudino, a licensed clinical psychologist with a first-grader at Home School, was chosen from a field of five candidates. He was sworn in at a special meeting of the board Jan. 10.
"The board selected Art because he seemed to be a good fit," said school board President Joanne Schaeffer. "He had a way of talking that I could see, even if there were a difference of opinion, he'd be able to handle himself well."
Gudino, 42, said when he first saw there was an opening for the board, he suggested his wife, who's active in the Home School PTA, apply. His wife, however, convinced him to throw his hat in the ring and after a "whirlwind" interview process, he was chosen to fill Andrade's unexpired term. The remaining two years of the term will be up for election in 2007.
"My kids are small and just embarking on school, and I wanted to have an impact," Gudino said. "I take education seriously. I very much always took pride in my education."
A native of Chicago's Southwest Side, Gudino graduated from St. Laurence High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Loyola University in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1996 from DePaul University. During his career he's worked specifically with children and young adults, and has a good deal of experience in a bilingual setting.
Since 1997, he's held several positions at C.A.U.S.E.S. (The Child Abuse Unit for Studies, Education and Services), based at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. He was most recently assistant clinical director for the organization, according to his curriculum vita, "directing all clinical services of a treatment program serving children, adolescents and adults with sexual behavior problems."
"I felt I could diversify the board and bring my experience to the table," said Gudino.
"I think he's going to bring a new perspective to the board," said District 103 Superintendent Raymond Lauk.
Gudino's appearance at the board table, in a way, finally ends the April 2005 election. Andrade won the right to retain his seat via a write-in campaign after he failed to file all of the proper paperwork to get on the ballot.
But the write-in results were contested by fellow write-in candidate, Robert Jonak, who won a recount. The recount confirmed Andrade's win, but three months later he announced he was moving out of the district. Jonak was not among the candidates interviewed for Andrade's vacant seat on the board.
Prior to Andrade's resignation, the board lost Felicia Chandler, who had also resigned. Because of the upheaval in 2005, four of the board's seven members are still completing their first year in office.
The board is currently in the midst of a search for a new superintendent. In September, the board voted 4-3 not to renew Lauk's contract.