Wilmette, Community

News Briefs: Gillson officially on National Register of Historic Places; Free Metra rides to Ravinia; New asst. superintendent for District 113

According to a release from the Wilmette Park District, Gillson Park has received the National Register of Historic Places designation as part of a national program that places designated properties on a national register for safekeeping and preservation.

The Gillson Park designation was announced by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The designation was given to Gillson Park and Wilmette Harbor as an “important work of landscape architecture” that adds “significance to the history of community planning and development in Wilmette.”

“We are deeply honored that Gillson Park was included in the National Register of Historic Places,” said Steve Wilson, executive director of the Wilmette Park District. “This prestigious designation is a testament to Gillson Park’s enduring legacy and its profound significance to the fabric of our community. We look forward to celebrating this beloved landmark for years to come.”

According to reporting from The Record in November 2023, the organization Landmarks Illinois nominated Gillson Park to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gillson Park was originally Washington Park and has been under the management of the Wilmette Park District since 1911.

The park covers about 60 acres of land and includes beaches dedicated to swimming and sailing, a dog beach, native bird habitat, wildflower garden, natural performing-arts venue (Wallace Bowl), event and office space (Lakeview Center), walking paths, tennis courts, playgrounds and plenty of open space.

Metra and Ravinia partner up for another concert season

For those who want to get to Ravinia Festival without driving, an efficient and free alternative is available.

For the fourth straight year, a partnership between Metra and the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park will allow concertgoers to take a free train ride to and from the event.

The free Metra service applies to all Ravinia ticket-holders. To use the promotion, concertgoers must show the Metra conductor their concert ticket or e-ticket to ride the UP North Line.

The UP North Line runs from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Ravinia Park Station is located at the entrance of the festival grounds, and the Braeside Station is located a short walk from the park.

In 2023, Metra increased the number of weekend trains stopping at Ravinia Park during the concert season. For those planning on attending a concert on a weekday, Metra is adding service for weeknight concerts throughout the season, starting June 7 and ending Sept. 15. The 4:50 p.m. departure from Chicago will arrive at Ravinia Park at 5:38 p.m. on nights when concerts are scheduled.

Dr. Lisa Dallacqua, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment in District 113.

District 113 fills key spot in district office

Township High School District 113 has announced the appointment of Dr. Lisa Dallacqua as the district’s new assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Dallacqua has been with the East Aurora School District 131 since 2019. Prior to then, she was a principal with Flossmoor District 161 and held multiple positions with Chicago Public Schools, according to a release from District 113.

With 131, Dallacqua oversees the district’s academic programming and assessment administration, leading the development of a dual language program, and overseeing professional development programs for teachers and school leaders, the release says.

“I am thrilled and honored to join District 113 and its tradition of academic excellence,” said Dallacqua. “Helping learners focus on their unique gifts as they develop, create their plans for post-secondary life and come into their own as young adults is so rewarding.

“I look forward to working with multiple stakeholders to address achievement gaps where they exist to raise the trajectory of achievement for students across District 113.”

Dallacqua earned a doctorate in philosphy of curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago and also holds degrees in educational leadership and Spanish literature. She began her career with Teach for America and also service in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, Africa.

Dallacqua begins her new position with District 113 on July 1, 2024.

“Bringing an experienced leader like Lisa to the team will enable us to foster a culture of support and collaboration among our licensed staff,” incoming Superintendent Dr. Chala Holland said. “Her dedication to academic excellence and her vision for a rigorous and inclusive curriculum will be invaluable as we continue to enhance the educational experience for all our students. I am confident that under her leadership, District 113 will achieve new heights of success.”

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.


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

Related Stories