Winnetka, News

New Trier superintendent will retire in 2025

Dr. Paul Sally has announced that he will retire as New Trier High School’s superintendent at the end of the 2024-2025 school year.

The announcement was made during New Trier’s School Board meeting on Monday, May 20.

Sally’s last day will be June 30, 2025.

“I cannot think of a better place to work than New Trier, and I’m honored that I’m going to retire in this place that nurtured me as a new educator three decades ago,” Sally told the board and community at the meeting. “New Trier’s a wonderful school with amazing students and families and a staff that is second to none.”

Sally — who has been New Trier’s superintendent since 2017, when he replaced Linda Yonke — said when he retires, he will have been at New Trier for 31 years. He previously was an assistant superintendent and spent 15 years as a math teacher, which included serving as the math department coordinator.

“I’ve enjoyed every role and I hope that in those roles, I’ve contributed to the betterment of our students, teachers, staff and community,” he said.

Sally in 2021 announcing a friendly wager with Stevenson High School.

Sally also praised the collaboration of the School Board, administration, staff and community in working to help students.

“I look forward to continuing that work and helping with the transition in any way that I can,” he said.

Board President Jean Hahn said, as superintendent, Sally has overseen the creation and implementation of the district’s strategic plan, New Trier 2030.

“Each year he has made measurable progress on that plan, from overseeing significant facilities and security improvements, to the creation of our graduating class teams, to his ongoing efforts to ensure that New Trier is a welcoming place where everyone feels they belong,” she said.

Hahn also praised Sally’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, during which he offered “creative and compassionate solutions to safely get students back in school learning.”

“I am confident that I can speak for the board when I say that we are deeply appreciative of the positive impact your kindness, compassion and genuine care has had on the New Trier community, and we are so very grateful to work with you for another year,” she said.

Sally said his goals for his last year are to continue focusing on implementing strategic planning initiatives, including developing the district’s graduating class teams, enhancing the district’s culture of belonging, integrating ideas regarding future programming, “and continuing to ensure that our school environment allows everyone in our school to thrive — students, staff and families — and strive to fulfill our motto.”

Search firm approved

In relation to Sally’s retirement, the board unanimously voted to hire the executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to help find the school’s next superintendent.

Board member Keith Dronen said HYA will work on developing a superintendent profile for the ideal candidate. They are expected to appear in front of the School Board at its July meeting for a presentation.

Dronen said the plan is for the next superintendent to take over July 1, 2025.

The search team consists of three retired Illinois school superintendents: Dr. Glenn “Max” McGee (Wilmette D39), Dr. Constance “Connie” Collins (Round Lake CUSD 116) and Dr. Brian Harris (Barrington CUSD 220).

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Peter Kaspari

Peter Kaspari is a blogger and a freelance reporter. A 10-year veteran of journalism, he has written for newspapers in both Iowa and Illinois, including spending multiple years covering crime and courts. Most recently, he served as the editor for The Lake Forest Leader. Peter is also a longtime resident of Wilmette and New Trier High School alumnus.

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