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.
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.
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.
Dr. John Burkey
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 the past 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.
Board of Directors
Dr. Brian Harris
Barrington 220, Superintendent
Dr. Ehren Jarrett
Rockford 205, Superintendent
Dr. Tad Everett
Dr. Lisa Hichens
“LUDA represents many of the largest unit districts across Illinois, thus speaking on behalf of hundreds of thousands of students.”
John Burkey | Executive Director
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.
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.
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.