Wilmette, News

News Briefs: Baker has new school leader; Park district has new rec leader; LWV, Moms Demand Action event on May 4

Kate Cicchelli, who co-founded Bennett Day School in Chicago, is stepping into the role of head of school at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette.

Cicchelli is currently on “a listening tour” of the school and will officially assume the position on July 1, the school announced in a statement

“Baker Demonstration school is a renowned institution with a history that stretches back to the beginning of the progressive education movement,” Cicchelli said in a statement. “I’m proud and humbled by the opportunity to guide this wonderful school, as we learn and work together to reach our highest potential — as students, individuals and as a community.”

Cicchelli has experience in leading progressive charter schools, and in developing innovative partnerships with families and communities. She previously served as principal and chief administrative officer at Bennett Day School, where she grew enrollment to more than 300 students. She has also taught at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka.

“Kate brings an extraordinary combination of skills and, over her long career, has proven herself to be a passionate advocate for students, a visionary leader of her fellow educators and a creative entrepreneur who has helped create and strengthen extraordinary educational communities,” said Stephanie Hentz, chair of Baker’s board of trustees, in the staatement. “We’re thrilled that she will be leading our school and ensuring our current and future students benefit from the very best of what progressive education has to offer.”

Katelynn Putkonen with her dog, Archie.

Wilmette Park District names recreation general manager

A new recreation leader has joined the Wilmette Park District.

Katelynn Putkonen, who has spent 10 years working in the field, was appointed as the organization’s new recreation general manager.

Putkonen has experience in a variety of areas, including events, programs, aquatics, athletics, facility management, staff development and training, according to a release from the park district. She said she’s excited to be joining the Wilmette team and getting to know the Wilmette Park District.

“This new role aligns seamlessly with my history rooted in the field,” Putkonen said. “I’m eager to be a part of this district, its large variety of programming and strong community involvement.”

Putkonen was previously with the River Trails Park District in Mount Prospect, where she spent the past four years as the recreation programs and aquatic manager. Before then, she served as operations supervisor with the Village of Libertyville.

As a summer camp counselor, Putkonen had her first experience in the parks and recreation field.

When Putkonen isn’t busy planning summer camps, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her blue heeler, Archie. She also enjoys gardening, playing golf, boating and competing in races.

Learn about voter registration, gun-violence prevention and more on May 4

The League of Women Voters of Wilmette and Moms Demand Action New Trier Township are hosting a presentation on voter registration and education, gun violence prevention, and community service opportunities on Saturday, May 4, at the Wilmette Public Library.

The event, which runs from 2:30-4 p.m., will also feature information on how to advocate for gun violence prevention legislation currently being considered by the Illinois State Legislature. In addition, there will be opportunities for attendees to register to vote and learn about how to run for office.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring a new or gently used purse to donate to the Moms to Moms Purse Drive, which collects items to benefit single mothers staying at the Cornerstone Outreach homeless shelters on Mothers Day.


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

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