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Large Unit District Association

 
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Mission

LUDA is committed to partnerships and collaboration.  Whether it is universities, other professional organizations, advocacy groups, government entities, or private businesses, our commitment is to the support of our member districts, their students, staffs, and communities.

 

Purpose

LUDA represents many of the largest unit districts across Illinois, thus speaking on behalf of hundreds of thousands of students.  Unit districts are those that educate students in Pre-K through grade 12, and large is defined as enrollments of at least 3,500 students.  Even though our districts are very diverse economically and geographically, we find commonality in our Pre-K through grade 12 large structure.

 
 
  • Promote innovative educational practices and best practice management processes among member districts through ongoing collaboration and LUDA conferences;

  • Make known to the public the educational, financial, operational, and organizational needs and concerns of large unit districts in order to promote the common good and general welfare of the districts, their students, and their communities;

  • Be engaged in the state legislative process and with ISBE;

  • Provide member districts with ongoing relevant information relative to state legislation and the process.  LUDA will also provide relevant information to member districts to assist in the development of innovative and best educational practices.

 
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History

LUDA (The Large Unit District Association) was created in 1976 by a group of superintendents who recognized the need for an organization that would provide networking, professional development, and advocacy for large unit school districts.

Since then, LUDA has become one of the most respected voices in Illinois on matters of education policy, providing advocacy and testimony on behalf of students throughout the state.

In addition, LUDA has become an important resource for school administrators in Illinois to learn, share, and connect with each other.

 

Staff

 
 
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executive director

Dr. John Burkey

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Dr. John Burkey joined LUDA as executive director in January 2018. Prior to his current role, he served as superintendent of LUDA-member Huntley Community School District 158 for 12 years. In Huntley, he led one of the fastest-growing school districts in Illinois through a period of rapid change. In addition to transforming its operations to meet the needs of its growing and increasingly diverse population, Huntley 158 became recognized as a national model of a public school district driving innovation to best meet the needs of today's students. Previously Burkey was a teacher and administrator in LUDA-member Dunlap School District #323. He holds bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 
 
 

 
 
 

administrative assistant

Diane Magerko

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Board of Directors

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Dr. Ehren Jarrett

President
Rockford 205, Superintendent

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Dr. Lisa Hichens

Vice President
Batavia, Superintendent

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Dr. Tad Everett

Secretary
Sterling, Superintendent

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Dr. Jeff Schuler

Treasurer
Wheaton Warrenville, Superintendent

 
Mr. Dan Bridges  Member at Large Naperville, Superintendent

Mr. Dan Bridges
Member at Large
Naperville, Superintendent

Dr. Mark Daniel  Member at Large Unit 5, Superintendent

Dr. Mark Daniel
Member at Large
Unit 5, Superintendent

Ms. Jennifer Gill  Member at Large Springfield, Superintendent

Ms. Jennifer Gill
Member at Large
Springfield, Superintendent

 
Dr. Donn Mendoza  Member at Large Round Lake, Superintendent

Dr. Donn Mendoza
Member at Large
Round Lake, Superintendent

Dr. James Mitchem  Member at Large Valley View, Superintendent

Dr. James Mitchem
Member at Large
Valley View, Superintendent

Dr. Genevra Walters  Member at Large Kankakee, Superintendent

Dr. Genevra Walters
Member at Large
Kankakee, Superintendent

Dr. Brian Harris  President Emeritus Barrington, Superintendent

Dr. Brian Harris
President Emeritus
Barrington, Superintendent

 
 

“LUDA represents many of the largest unit districts across Illinois, thus speaking on behalf of hundreds of thousands of students.”

John Burkey |  Executive Director

 
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History

LUDA (the Large Unit District Association) was created in 1976 by a group of superintendents who recognized the need for an organization that would provide networking, professional development, and advocacy for large unit school districts.

Legislation

Being an active participant for large unit districts, the legislative process (with the State Board of Education and at policy development tables across the state) is an important role of LUDA.  Leaders in our districts give testimony on our behalf, serve on statewide committees, and communicate with state and national legislators.

Networking

LUDA serves as a network for support, friendship, and learning among its superintendents.  Opportunities are also created for central office administrators to connect and collaborate.

 
 
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