A new era of the New Trier High School Board of Education has officially begun.
Three new board members and one incumbent were sworn in on Monday, May 3, during a special board meeting.
Newcomers Avik Das, Kimberly Alcantara and Sally Tomlinson joined board member Keith Dronen in the ceremony. The four were slated by the New Trier High School Board Caucus and defeated challengers Julie Cho and Dr. Chad Prodromos in the April 6 election.
Das, Tomlinson and Alcantara replace a wealth of experience, as they take over for Dr. Marc Glucksman and Carol Ducommun, neither of whom sought reelection, and Greg Robitaille, who was not selected by the caucus and did not challenge the slate.
Robitaille, who was first elected by voters in 2013, served two terms on the board. From 2016-18, he was the board president. He also spent one year, 2015-16, as the board’s vice president.
The Winnetka resident said he was grateful for his time serving the community.
“This has been a great honor of my life to serve this special institution and in a small way move it forward,” he said. “I thank you for the opportunity and my sincere best wishes to the board.”
Ducommun served three terms, which were separated by a four-year tenure on Wilmette’s Village Board from 2013-17.
A longtime resident of Wilmette, Ducommun was the New Trier board’s president from 2007-08. Through her service, Ducommun said she’s grown to appreciate all that New Trier does for its students.
“We are willing to take informed risks and think outside of the box, we recognize the value and high quality in all we do, we provide significant opportunities and support for our students and we are committed to a well-rounded liberal arts education,” she said in part on May 3.
Glucksman, the now-former board vice president, departs after serving one term. A longtime resident of Glencoe, Glucksman also spent two terms on the Glencoe School District 35 Board of Education.
He said his time on the New Trier board ranks atop his experiences in public service.
“Having served on nine educational and scientific boards, this board is the GOAT — if you don’t understand what that is, ask any of your kids. It means the greatest of all time,” he said.
He later continued: “It was certainly an honor and a labor of love to serve on the board for the last four years.”
Glucksman concluded his comments with words of advice for the incoming board.
“You really need to be incredibly flexible and resilient and expect the unexpected,” he said. “If you don’t believe that, where were you for the last year?”
New Trier High School Superintendent Dr. Paul Sally thanks all three for their dedication and work, adding he “really appreciated (their) care for the institution.”
After Das, Tomlinson, Dronen and Alcantara took the oath of office, the newly minted board reelected Cathy Albrecht as its president. Albrecht’s new term as president will run until the April 2022 meeting of the board.
Board members also elected Dronen as the next vice president.
The Record is a nonprofit, reader-funded news site. Our public-service journalism is free for all to read.
To support The Record, become a subscriber for full access to our local news.
Just want to help? You can donate to The Record at any time.
Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.