Winnetka, Elections

Caucus announces three-person slate for New Trier High School Board

The New Trier Board of Education Caucus has built its slate for the April 2023 election.

Incumbent and board vice president Jean Hahn highlights the selections, which also include Courtney McDonough, of Winnetka, and Sally Pofcher, of Wilmette. Incumbents Brad McLane (one term) and Cathy Albrecht (two terms) are not seeking re-election.

“I will very much miss being on the New Trier BOE,” Albrecht, a former board president, told The Record via email. “It has been a privilege to serve our community and work with such a truly excellent educational institution.”

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 (19) and Kenilworth District 38 the least (three).

According to a press release from the caucus, the organization began meeting in September regarding the April 2023 election, and “numerous” candidates were interviewed and vetted in October. Caucus Chairperson David Eisenberg would not provide an exact number of applications but said the group had a “really good group to choose from.”

“These three are truly phenomenal candidates,” Eisenberg said. “We were lucky to have them and other applicants as well.

“Hearing all three of them speak, they are highly educated and highly qualified and would be great additions to the board. I am very proud of the endorsed slate.”

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.

The caucus slate prevailed.

Hahn, of Glencoe, was elected to the board in 2019 and selected as its vice president in the spring of 2022. She previously served two terms with the Glencoe District 35 Board of Education and has volunteered with the Village of Glencoe Sustainability Task Force. An attorney with the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Hahn has two sons — one currently at New Trier — and is married to Chicago White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn.

“She was highly qualified four years ago and has only bolstered those qualifications,” Eisenberg said of Hahn, who was also slate-endorsed in 2019. “… The township is fortunate she is willing to serve another term.”

Eisenberg said McDonough came recommended by a New Trier School Board member, but would not specify which one. A former elementary-school teacher, McDonough has volunteered with local schools, including New Trier High School, for years. She was until recently the director of education at Compass Health Center, of Northbrook, which provides mental-health services to children and adolescents. McDonough has two children at New Trier and another at Carleton Wasburne Junior High in Winnetka.

Pofcher — who Eisenberg said was a recommendation of New Trier administrators — has long been active in New Trier High School activities, including the New Trier Parent Association, the district’s strategic planning committee and StartUp U, also known as the entrepreneurship course with the business curriculum. Pofcher recently left the role of CEO of children’s clothing brand Hanna Anderson. She was three children, two of whom are graduates of New Trier.

Stay tuned to The Record North Shore for election filings, candidate profiles and interviews as the election approaches.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

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

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