Former D86 board leader resigns due to move

Nancy Pollak, who served as president of the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board from May 2019 to May 2020, resigned from the board effective July 1.

She and her family are permanently relocating to a home they own in Michigan.

Pollak had expected to finish her term in 2021 before moving, but the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 altered her plans, she told The Hinsdalean.

“We’ve already spent 100 days (in Michigan) this year. It just seemed to make sense,” she said.

Asked if her decision was prompted by happenings in the district, including the May 28 settlement of a First Amendment lawsuit filed against her and the board, Pollak said that was not a factor.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “I have never been afraid to face a challenge and make tough decisions. You’re not going to please everyone.”

In her resignation letter, which she sent to board President Kevin Camden June 29, Pollak expressed pride in the board’s accomplishments since she was elected in 2017, including the creation of a strategic plan, passage of the $139 million facilities referendum and elimination of the buffer zone. In 2019, the board began implementing the strategic plan, stressing curriculum equity between the two district high schools, improving relationships with teachers and staff and putting the referendum dollars to work.

“I am disappointed to leave with so much work left to be done,” she wrote.

She cited racial tensions, state finances, the COVID-19 pandemic and declining enrollment at Hinsdale South as serious issues the district faces.

“I have complete confidence in your leadership and the stewardship of our building principals, Bill Walsh and Arwen Pokorny-Lyp, to ensure that District 86 will face these challenges head on and implement solutions that will ensure the continuation of excellence in District 86,” she wrote.

Camden stated in an email to the District 86 community Tuesday that he is happy for his friend but saddened by the lost of a trusted leader on the board.

“Nancy has been a dedicated and selfless public servant, particularly in the area of public education,” Camden commented. “On behalf of the board I want to thank Nancy for everything she has done for our district and wish her and Dale all the best as they embark on this exciting next chapter in their lives. I also want to thank Nancy’s children for always supporting her in her service.”

The board is working on an application for prospective candidates, Camden noted, and invited anyone with questions to send an email to [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean