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Member Biographies

The School Board comprises seven equal members who serve without pay for staggered four-year terms. Each member is elected at large and represents the entire District. The Board must balance the needs of multiple constituencies in making sound decisions for the good of the District. The Board is specifically responsible for setting District policy, approving the ongoing expenditures/budget/long range plan, as well as hiring and evaluating the Superintendent. The Board delegates executive functions to the Superintendent through written policies and a written contract. (The Superintendent oversees all other employees and ensures the delivery of appropriate curriculum to students; decision-making for daily instruction resides primarily at the building and classroom level.) As specified in the Code of Conduct, Board members have the authority to make decisions only as a body of the whole. The Board President serves in the role of spokesperson for the Board to the community and the media.



Kristen HertelKristen Hertel*, President
Term 2015-2019

Kristen Hertel has lived in Winnetka for over 10 years. She is married and has five children who attend The Winnetka Public Schools. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1986 with a BS from the School of Education and Social Policy. She worked as a banker at JP Morgan Chase from 1986-2003. Kristin is a founding board member of the Beyond Sports Foundation, which helps underserved athletes graduate from high school and obtain their college degrees. She also serves on The Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy Advisory Board.


Dawn Livingston*, Vice President
Term 2015-2019

Dawn Livingston is a 13 year Winnetka resident with three children enrolled in The Winnetka Public Schools. Prior to moving to Winnetka, she and her husband lived in Malaysia and Singapore where Dawn served as Vice President and General Counsel for Asia Net Media. Dawn has worked at the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins, practicing corporate law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. She holds an L.L.M. in International Business Law from Exeter University in England, a J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since moving to Winnetka, Dawn has engaged in variety of community and other volunteer roles, including serving on the corporate board of the Metropolitan Chicago YMCA, and the women’s boards of the Chicago Boys and Girls Clubs and Northwestern University. She served as Rules Committee chair and Executive Committee member of the Winnetka Caucus and continues to volunteer in her children’s schools.



Jennifer Pehlke*, Secretary
Term 2015-2019

Jennifer Pehlke and her family have lived in Winnetka for 10 years. Her three children attend Hubbard Woods School, Carleton Washburne School, and New Trier High School. She earned her B.A. and her M.A. in English Literature from the University of Kansas and her M.S. in Education from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is currently an English instructor at the College of Lake County and has worked in cash management at LaSalle National Bank, and as a credit analyst and commercial real estate analyst at American National Bank. Jennifer has volunteered in many capacities within District 36 as well as with FAN and the Alliance for Early Childhood. She has been a Ravinia Associate and worked with The International Organization for Adolescents.



Steve Cirulis*, Member
Term 2017-2021

Steve Cirulis has lived in Winnetka for over five years. He and his wife, Suzy have three children who all attend Crow Island School. Steve is currently an SVP at Panera Bread, where he is responsible for driving growth and improving the company’s performance. He has held senior strategy and general management roles at McDonald’s Corporation and Gap Inc., as well as Prophet, a brand and marketing consultancy. Steve earned an MBA in finance and marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in economics and political science from Northwestern University. He is a founding member of The Nora Project, a nonprofit which aims to teach students empathy and create friendships between them and their peers with disabilities.



Scott Conine*, Member
Term 2017-2021

Scott Conine has lived in Winnetka for five years. Scott Conine is the Chief Operating Officer at Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency specializing in digital media, analytics, and customer experience. He has been with the company since 2006 and he currently directs all operating departments including accounting, legal, employee services, IT, and administration. He has used his 14 years of experience in marketing and management to streamline business processes and leverage technology to achieve both revenue and profit target. He lives in Winnetka with his wife Ranell and two daughters who attend Greeley and North Shore Country Day. He has served at imentor, a non-profit that helps disadvantaged youth. He is a graduate of Baylor University.



Matthew Hulsizer*, Member
Term 2011-2019 (2nd Term)

Matthew Hulsizer has lived in Winnetka for 7 years. He is a 1991 graduate of Amherst College. Matt is a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of PEAK6 Investments. Prior to that, he was a director and risk manager for Swiss Bank, a global financial-services corporation. He has significant not-for-profit experience including serving as a board member of the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey from 2001 to 2008. Peddie is a private school with an educational philosophy similar to District 36's progressive education philosophy. Matt has served on the Board of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is active in the Winnetka community, serving as a coach for the Winnetka Hockey Club and AYSO soccer. He is married and has three children in The Winnetka Public Schools.



Nat Roberts*, Member
Term 2017-2021

Nat Roberts has been a resident of Winnetka for four years with his wife and three children. He has a daughter at Hubbard Woods, and two sons, one at North Shore Country Day and one at Washburne. Nat is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and has taken various non degree courses (Accounting, History, Agriculture) at Harvard and University of Florida. Nat is currently a stay at home dad and is still serving as President, Managed Citrus Inc., a partnership that sold its main assets 3 years ago. Nat volunteers frequently with the Winnetka D36 PTO, is a boy scout troop leader of 100 boys grades 6-12 and served on the New Trier Board Caucus. He was the Chair of The Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Chair & President of Indian River Citrus Growers Association, Board Member of Florida Fruit & Vegetable and a Board Member of Florida Citrus.



*Completed Open Meeting Act Training, Professional Development Leadership Training, and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) Training