Board of Education
Front Row: Janine Freedlund (Vice President), William Grimpe (President), Donna Johnson (Secretary)
Back Row: Louis Camardo, Robert Rognstad, Becky Pfisterer, Frank Fiarito
General Board Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The River Trails Elementary School District 26 Board of Education (Board) consists of seven public officials who are elected at large from the geographic boundaries established by law for the River Trails Elementary School District. The Board can only take action as a governing body when it is convened at a formally advertised open public meeting. The members are elected on a staggered basis according to the Illinois School Code adopted by the Illinois General Assembly.
The Board, representing local community members, determines the philosophy by which the School District will be governed. The philosophy is expressed through the policies adopted by the Board. In order for the Board to carry out its legal charge given to it by the Illinois State Constitution, the Board has established a structure to govern itself. The Board annually elects three officers: president, vice president, and secretary. The current Board functions under a committee structure. Three Board members are assigned to each standing committee by the president. The standing committees supervise the preparation of multi-year plans of action for finance, facilities, and technology for Board approval. The Strategic Plan is directed by the District Mission Statement, Goals and Action Plans established by the Board in conjunction with the professional staff and community.
Meet the RTSD26 Board of Education
Mr. William Grimpe, President
Service: Mr. Grimpe was appointed to the board in October 2016 and elected to a four-year term in May 2017. Elected as board president in 2021.
Family: Mr. Grimpe is married to his wife Kristin, and has two daughters – Kendall and Presley who attend District 26.
Occupation: Works in the merchandising department of a leading office products wholesaler and distributor.
Education: Associate’s Degree in communications and over 19 years of merchandising and marketing experience in the business world.
Community Service & Affiliations: Serves as the Chair Person of the District’s Public Relations Committee and serves as a member of the Operations Committee and is the district’s representative on the River Trails Education Foundation. He also serves as the executive secretary on the Grace Lutheran Church council. He also coaches his daughters’ soccer teams for the River Trails Park District.
Mrs. Janine Freedlund, Vice President
Service: Mrs. Freedlund was elected to complete the last two years of a four-year term in April 2019. Elected as board vice president in 2021.
Family: Mrs. Freedlund and her husband have three daughters, all of whom attend school in the district.
Occupation: Internship Advisor within District 214. She works with local business partners to help high school students explore various career pathways.
Education: Earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts degree in School Counseling. She worked in the corporate sector for ten years prior to moving into the field of education.
Community Service & Affiliations: While most of Mrs. Freedlund’s time is dedicated to raising her children, she participates in as many school and community events as possible.
Mrs. Donna Johnson, Secretary
Service: Mrs. Johnson was appointed to the Board on August 8, 1986 to fill a vacancy and was subsequently elected on April 4, 1987. Sher served until September 1998 when she took a four-year leave. She was reelected on April 1, 2003 and has served since.
Family: Mrs. Johnson and her husband were married in 1971 and moved to District 26 in Mount Prospect in 1978. They have two adult sons who were educated at Euclid School, River Trails Middle School and Hersey High School. They are currently raising a grandson who was also educated at Euclid, River Trails and Hersey
Occupation: Mrs. Johnson retired in December 2018 after 25 years in the District 214 ESL Adult Education Program, the last 15 of those years as the Fiscal Coordinator responsible for a $2 million budget.
Education: Mrs. Johnson is considered the Board historian and offers insight when asked. She researched the history of District 26 and organized the centennial celebration in 1995. Her longevity in the community uniquely positions her to network with the park district an the village.
Community Service & Affiliation: Mrs. Johnson has served in all executive positions of the District 26 Board of Education. She has been president eight times, vice president seven times, and secretary five times. She has served one time or another, throughout various year, as committee chairperson of Finance, Negotiation, Operations, Public Relations and Policy committees. She has served on each of the district's Strategic Plan Committees. In 1985, before she was on the Board, Mrs. Johnson served as the lead member of the Parent Advisory Committee to investigate and implement all-day kindergarten. In 2016, Mrs. Johnson served on the River Trails Park District Delphi Committee (their strategic plan) which assisted the park district in a review and discussion of facilities, finances, operations and programs. Mrs. Johnson has wored on various referenda for the school district, park district and village. She has been an integral part of the hiring process for five district superintendents.
In the neighborhood, Mrs. Johnson took responsibility for her subdivision's entrance markers. She and her husband maintain them and keep them from falling into disrepair. She is also known as the neighborhood's "Luminaria Lady," organizing the neighbords to light about 700 candles on Christmas Eve on Westgate Road and a portion of Greenwood.
Mr. Louis Camardo, Board Member
Service: Mr. Camardo was appointed - November 2021
Family: Mr. Camardo and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Fiona and Joey. They moved to Mount Prospect in 2016 and live in the Indian Grove neighborhood. They also have an adopted boxer/pit mix named Kita who they consider to be their third child.
Occupation: Mr. Camardo is the CFO for North and South America for Carlo Gavazzi Inc. He also operates his own dog accessory business.
Education: Graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in accountancy and obtained his CPA license.
Community Service & Hobbies: Coaches his son's soccer team for the River Trails Park District, participates in the Dad/Daughter Princess Program with the Zuni Tribe, golf and fitness enthusiast, aqaurium hobbyist, and loves live music shows.
Mr. Frank Fiarito, Board Member
Service: Mr. Fiarito was elected to the Board on April 5, 2011. He served as board president from 2017 to 2021.
Family: Mr. Fiarito is married to his wife Christine, and has one daughter - Sofia, who attends River Trails Middle School and 2 children at Hersey.
Mrs. Becky Pfisterer, Board Member
Service: Mrs. Pfisterer was appointed to the Board of Education in September 2022.
Family: Mrs. Pfisterer is a resident of Des Plaines and has two sons with her husband, Steve. Owen is a third grader at Indian Grove and Beau is a kindergartener at Prairie Trails. She also has two dogs, a Beagle named Winston and a Sheltie/Dachshund/Beagle mix named Marty.
Occupation: Mrs. Pfisterer has been the director of national accounts for Advisor Perspectives, a website that caters to financial advisors, since 2010.
Education: Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with Bachelor of Science degrees in marketing and management. She also has a concentration in human resource management and a certificate in entrepreneurship.
Community Service & Hobbies: Mrs. Pfisterer is passionate about reading. She is a steward for a mini library with the Mount Prospect Mini Library mission. Her favorite school volunteer activity is mystery reader. She also loves playing board games, especially trivia and video games. Mrs. Pfisterer enjoys taking bike rides with her family.
Mr. Robert Rognstad, Board Member
Service: Mr. Rognstad was elected to RTSD2 Board of Education in 2019. Robert serves on the Finance Committee and serves as the RTSD Representative on the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization board.
Family: Mr. Rognstad is married to his wife Julie; they have a daughter Eleanor and son Sheldon.
Occupation: Mr. Rognstad is the President & CEO of ETS Technology Solutions.
Education: Mr. Rognstad studied Business Administration at the University of Phoenix and Roosevelt University. Mr. Rognstad has earned several technical certifications including Microsoft’s MCSE, Citrix’s CCA and VMware’s VCP certifications.
Community Service & Affiliations: Mr. Rognstad has become an advocate for those with special needs and is active in the local and international communities seeking to educate and support those with extreme challenges. Mr. Rognstad is a parishioner at St. Raymond’s Catholic Church in Mount Prospect.
Individuals with Disabilities
River Trails School District 26 is subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Individuals with disabilities who plan to attend this meeting and who require certain accommodations in order to allow them to attend and/or participate, or who have questions regarding the accessibility of the meeting or the facilities, are requested to contact the Superintendent’s office at (847) 297-4120 extension 7301.