Board of Education
Front Row: Janine Freedlund (Vice President), William Grimpe (President), Donna Johnson (Secretary)
Back Row: Becky Pfisterer, Louis Camardo, Kimberly Bianchini, Robert Rognstad
General Board Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The River Trails 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 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, it 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 in which three 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.
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 Chairperson 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 appointed to the board in October 2018 and elected to complete the last two years of a four-year term in April 2019. She was elected as board vice president in 2021 following one year of serving as board secretary.
Family: Mrs. Freedlund resides in Mount Prospect with her husband, Tim, their three daughters, and yellow lab, Doug. Mrs. Freedlund’s children attend Euclid and River Trails Middle schools.
Occupation: Mrs. Freedlund is an Instructional Assistant in special education at Wheeling High School; she has held several other positions within District 214, including Internship Advisor and Career Advisor for post-secondary planning. Prior to her tenure in education, she worked in the corporate sector as a medical underwriter and pharmaceutical benefits consultant.
Education: Earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and Master of Arts in School Counseling from Concordia University Chicago. She has completed several professional development courses focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and remains active in school counseling learning exchanges and SEL programming.
Community Service & Affiliations: Mrs. Freedlund serves as the chairperson for both the Policy and Negotiations Committees, and was a representative for the board during the district’s DEI development and most recent strategic planning process. While Mrs. Freedlund dedicates the majority of her time to her family, she makes room for recreational reading, drawing and creating art, walking her dog, and gardening.
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. She 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 and 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 years, 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 worked 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 neighbors to light about 700 candles on Christmas Eve on Westgate Road and a portion of Greenwood.
Mrs. Kimberly Bianchini, Board Member
Service: Mrs. Bianchini was elected to the board on April 4, 2023.
Family: Mrs. Bianchini and her husband, Berto, have been married for 20 years. They have two children, one who attends Hersey High School and one who is at River Trails Middle School.
Occupation: Owns and operates Advance Preschool Inc., an early childhood education center located in Hoffman Estates.
Education: Graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education.
Community Service: Serves on the core coalition for the Governor's Funding Coalition and the "We the Village" campaign. She is also a member of the Board of Hopeful Beginnings and an advocate for the early childhood community. She is actively involved in community service work and spends as much time as possible supporting her children in both school and extracurricular activities. Ms. Bianchini also served on the Euclid PTC board.
Mr. Louis Camardo, Board Member
Service: Mr. Camardo was appointed in November, 2021. He was elected to a 4-year term in April, 2023.
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, aquarium hobbyist, and loves live music shows.
Mrs. Becky Pfisterer, Board Member
Service: Mrs. Pfisterer was appointed to the Board of Education in September, 2022. She was elected to a 2-year term on April 4, 2023.
Family: Mrs. Pfisterer is a resident of Des Plaines and has two sons with her husband, Steve. Owen is a fourth grader and Beau is a first grader at Indian Grove. She also has two dogs, a Beagle named Winston and a Sheltie/Dachshund/Beagle mix named Marty.
Occupation: Mrs. Pfisterer is the Marketing Director for Dentist Advisors, a financial advisory firm that specializes in helping dentists.
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 RTSD26 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.