With 3 board of education seats expiring, New Trier caucus seeks candidates
Election season is underway. And while the constant mailers, web ads and television spots make sure you are aware of Nov. 8, it is another election that is sneaking up on local voters.
The April 2023 Consolidated General Election will feature races for local public offices, and area caucus groups are already putting in work.
The New Trier School Board caucus will slate three candidates this fall. The terms of Brad McLane, Cathy Albrecht and Jean Hahn are expiring in 2023, and only Hahn — currently the board’s vice president — has confirmed a desire for re-election, according to an email response from Hahn. McLane and Albrecht did not immediately return messages from The Record.
The caucus held two public meetings in September to lay the groundwork for its selection process, which begins with finding interested candidates. Applications are due Oct. 10 to caucus chair David Eisenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eisenberg said the caucus will interview each applicant at least once beginning Oct. 13. Interviews are led by a interview committee but observed by all 45 caucus members, who can also participate in the interviews. Depending on the number of applicants, more interviews will take place late in October and a slate of three candidates will be name in either the final week of October or first week of November.
“We are looking for somebody who is well-qualified to be a board member,” Eisenberg said. “First and foremost with some experience civically, whether at the school board level or other board level. But the most important attribute of a candidate is they are focused on education and specifically public education.
“We look for people who are well-rounded. We are not looking for single-issue people or people with a single skill set.”
The caucus comprises delegates from each of New Trier High School’s six feeder districts, and a district’s number of delegates is decided by its size. For instance, Wilmette District 39 has the most participants and Kenilworth District 38 the least.
Caucus-slated candidates still must follow Cook County’s filing protocol, which includes submitting a proper application, including signatures, in December.
Last election cycle, in 2020-21, the caucus slate — Kimberly Alcantara, Avik Das, Keith Dronen and Sally Tomlinson — was challenged by Julie Cho and Chad Prodromos, both of whom were running on a platform of getting students back inside the classroom during the pandemic.
Caucuses are also at work in Winnetka, Glencoe and Northfield. Wilmette does not have a caucus system.
Stay tuned to The Record North Shore for more election coverage in the coming weeks.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319