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.
Our purpose is to:
1. Promote the sound and efficient operation of large unit school districts in the State of Illinois
2. Serve as a resource of information for large unit school districts
3. 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.
4. Influence legislation and regulations; disseminate analyses, studies, and research in order to assist in the development of sound educational policy.
LUDA represents the largest fifty-three unit districts in Illinois, thus speaking on behalf of more than half of the students in the state. Unit districts are those that educate students in PreK through grade 12 and large is defined as enrollments of at least 3,500. LUDA finds the commonality in the diversity of our members, thus overcoming regional differences.
LUDA is committed to partnerships and collaboration. Whether it is universities, other professional organizations, advocacy groups, government entities, and private businesses, our commitment is to the support of our member districts, their students, staffs, and communities.
Opportunities are created for central office administrators to connect, share, and learn together. Curriculum Directors, Business Officials, Human Resource Directors, Special Education Directors, and Superintendentsí Assistants are invited to specific conference meetings and are encouraged to develop their own LUDA network of colleagues.
Being a voice for large unit districts at the capitol, 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 is the recipient of a Wallace Foundation grant for the dissemination of learning on leadership development. We are a member of SAELP (State Action for Education Leadership Project and contribute to the learning of how leaders make a difference in student achievement.
Additionally, LUDA serves as a network for support, friendship, learning and caring among its members. Leading a large unit district is a challenging task. It is vital to have the support of others in similar positions to lean on and learn from in order to succeed. LUDA plays that role.
2015-16 LUDA Board of Directors
Dr. Brian Harris (Barrington), President
Dr. Ehren Jarrett (Rockford), Vice President
Dr. Tad Everett (Sterling), Secretary
Dr. Lisa Hichens (Batavia), Treasurer
Members At Large-(Completing 2 year term ending in 2018)
Mr. Dan Bridges, (Naperville)
Ms. Jennifer Gill, (Springfield)
Dr. Jeff Schuler, (Wheaton Warrenville)
Members At Large- (Beginning 2 year term ending in 2019)
Dr. Mark Daniel (Unit 5)
Dr. James Mitchem (Valley View)
Past Presidents & Presidents' Emeritus
Dr. John Burkey (Huntley)
Dr. Barry Reilly (Bloomington)
Dr. Ken Arndt (Carpentersville)
Dr. Cal Lee (Moline)
Dr. Gary Niehaus (Unit #5)
Dr. Bob Nielsen (Bloomington)
Dr. Don Schlomann (St. Charles)
Dr. Preston Williams (Urbana)