A Message from the School Board

April 29, 2022

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Dear Families, Staff and Community Members,

This message is intended to keep the community informed of the selection process for our next Superintendent. It is a priority of the School Board to name a Superintendent who will uphold excellence and continuity of leadership in the District. Per the statement made at our April 26 School Board Meeting, we are dedicated to ensuring that this important decision is made thoughtfully.

Since learning of Dr. Kocanda’s resignation, we have benefited from a number of critical resources that are currently guiding our decision and providing informed context. As is typical in any Superintendent search, we have consulted with national search firms, legal counsel, our administrative team, former Winnetka Public Schools Board members, and other Township Board members. We have heard various perspectives from the community on how to best proceed, and appreciate your engagement with the Board. After thorough consideration and review of past Board precedent, we determined that we will not be pursuing an interim appointment or a national search as we are fortunate to have a highly-qualified and respected internal candidate with whom we are currently in discussions. This individual is immediately prepared to continue our work to advance the District’s Shared Vision and Strategic Plan. The hiring of the next superintendent will be confirmed through a vote by the School Board, held at a Special School Board Meeting. At that time, we will be sharing the process for our nationwide search for an Assistant Superintendent. We will notify the public as to when this meeting will occur.

Dr. Trisha Kocanda will provide valuable insights and support to ensure a smooth leadership transition. We are also fortunate to have a dedicated Administrative Team who will maintain a commitment to the District’s ongoing work to ensure continual growth and improvement. In addition, we see significant opportunity with the appointment of our new Director of Innovation, Teaching & Learning, Dr. Becky Mathison, who will lead the implementation and monitoring of targeted annual goals that stretch us in critical areas like literacy, curricular alignment, and social-emotional learning.

We look forward to naming our next Superintendent and know that they will benefit from the continued partnership and support of our students, staff, parents and community members. Thank you for your continued patience as we make this important decision that will guide the future of our school community.


The School Board Members for the The Winnetka Public Schools

Steve Cirulis, Maxie Clarke, Dawn Livingston, Megan Panje-Wilson, Alyssa Rapp, Emily Rose, Dan Waters