Governor Quinn Makes Four New Appointments To State Education Boards

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–December 21, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointments of James Baumann, Steven Gilford and Melinda LaBarre to the State Board of Education.

In addition, Governor Quinn also named veteran State Board of Education member, Joyce Karon, to the P-20 (pre-school through graduate school) Council, a key advisory panel that will make recommendations to the Governor about strengthening Illinois’ education system and play an instrumental role in the State’s quest to win approximately $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” discretionary funds.

“I want to thank these four seasoned local education advocates for answering the call to serve the residents of Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “We must continue to work together to ensure that all students in Illinois get a top-notch education.”

The State Board of Education sets educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools, pre-school through grade 12, as well as vocational education. It also recommends legislation to the General Assembly and Governor for the benefit of schoolchildren across Illinois.

Baumann served as President of the Board of Directors of Lake Bluff School District 65 Education Foundation for more than a decade and as Chairman of Board of Directors of the Golden Apple Foundation for eight years. (Baumann background) LaBarre taught elementary education in Springfield District 189 from 1963 to 1990, before serving as principal at two local elementary schools and eventually becoming a consultant for the Ball Education Foundation. (LaBarre background)

Gilford previously served on the Board of Education of Evanston Township High School District 202 for 12 years, including two terms as president. (Gilford background) He will fill the vacancy left by Joyce Karon, who was appointed to the P-20 Council. Karon has served on her local Board of Education of Barrington Community Unit School District 220 for nearly 40 years and the State Board of Education since 2003. (Karon background)

“Joyce will play a fundamental role in the state’s bid for ‘Race to the Top’ dollars,” said Governor Quinn.

The U.S. Department of Education “Race to the Top” is a $4.35 billion competitive grant process focused on innovative approaches to education. Illinois could receive approximately $400 million in discretionary funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

On December 1, Governor Quinn made 23 appointments to the P-20 Council, which included business leaders, teachers, parents, civic groups, university, community colleges and school officials. The appointments also included Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who will serve as Chair.

For more information on the State Board of Education and the P-20 Council, please visit