Wilmette, News

News Briefs: NTHS soph wins gold in Ismaili Games; Solar tour and electric vehicle show Sept. 30; Glencoe hires new Public Works director; Wilmette art exhibits in Glencoe

New Trier High School sophomore Iman Merchant brought home gold from the Ismaili Games in Dallas over Labor Day weekend.

The 15-year-old and her partner went unbeaten in the junior doubles bracket to claim first place in the tournament held Sept. 1-4. With the victory, the pair qualified for the international Ismaili Games next summer.

The Ismaili Games celebrates the Shia branch of the religion of Islam. A program record 1,900 athletes participated in the annual games.

Wilmette, Winnetka, Highland Park homes among those featured in Sept. 30 solar tour

Residents of Wilmette, Winnetka and Highland Park will be among more than 100 solar homes, businesses and nonprofits across the state participating in the 2023 Illinois Solar Tour from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.

The local homebase for the tour will be St. John’s Church, 1235 Wilmette Ave., which will simultaneously host an electric vehicle and bicycle show.

The annual Illinois Solar Tour, hosted by the Illinois Solar Education Association, is a free experience, including both in-person and virtual events. The tour allows the public to view real-life examples of local homeowners and businesses who have transitioned to solar to cut their utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

The Solar Tour operates as a network of open houses, with solar sites throughout the state — including more than a dozen in Wilmette — opening their doors to visitors. Many sites also offer video tours, and some communities are hosting local events in partnership with ISEA. The hybrid format will offer the public a chance to engage and ask questions of solar owners and other enthusiasts like never before.

Monica Sarna will start with the Village of Glencoe in October.

Glencoe finds its new Public Works director

The Village of Glencoe has found its new Public Works leader in Monica Sarna, who will begin as the department’s director on Oct. 23, according to a press release from the Village.

Sarna follows in the footsteps of David Mau, who retired on Aug. 1. General Superintendent Don Kirk is serving as interim Public Works director.

Sarna is currently an assistant engineering director in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where she has worked since March 2020. Before starting her career in municipal government, Sarna worked as an  engineer for several private engineering firms, including Milhouse Engineering & Construction and Kudrna & Associates, both based out of Chicago.

“I am so pleased to join Glencoe’s team and to have the  opportunity to serve the residents of this community,” Sarna said in the release. ‘So much important work has been done under the steady  guidance and leadership of the Public Works Department, thanks to the unwavering commitment to providing the highest level of service to residents exhibited by the entire Public Works team. Continuing that legacy is inspiring and a unique challenge I look forward to undertaking.” 

As Glencoe’s Public Works director, Sarna will oversee all Public Works Department operational areas, including sanitary and storm sewer systems, streets and sidewalks, traffic management, fleet and equipment, building and grounds, and water production and distribution.

She reportedly will also serve as project manager for the new Glencoe Golf Club Clubhouse, which is  expected to be under construction by late summer 2024. 

“I am so pleased and proud to have Ms. Sarna join our community as the Village’s next Public Works Director,” Village Manager Phil Kiraly said in the release. “Her varied and dynamic skillset will guide her leadership of the Public Works Department  and will bring a fresh, thoughtful perspective to the services we provide.”

Village President Howard Roin added that “the Public Works director is charged with overseeing some of the most visible and tangible services the Village provides and must be passionate about delivering the best possible services to our residents. It is clear Ms. Sarna exemplifies the customer service mentality that our Village prioritizes.”

“Balancing Act” by Anne Hughes is one of the works on display at AIR until Oct. 7.

Wilmette artist debuts ‘Welcome to the Theatre of Life‘ in Glencoe

Wilmette artist Anne Hughes’ exhibit “Welcome to the Theatre of Life: Works by Anne Hughes” recently opened at AIR Studio & Gallery in Glencoe.

According to a release from AIR, “Anne Hughes employs a rich color palette of soft pastels to create thought-provoking semi-abstract paintings. Hughes’ imagery is activated by her intuitive curiosity and sincere reverence for wonder and the environment, as well as her respect for philosophical and scientific questioning. Unexpected connections flow together in these graceful compositions, stimulating the mind and delighting the senses.

The exhibit runs through Oct. 7, and the gallery, 348 Tudor Court, is open Thursday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment.


This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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