There were 34 out of 61 members present and no guests.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Baker presented Luvie Owens  with a new member “recruitment pin” which is now available for those  bringing in new members.
   On October 2, Ellen Young, Rotary District Governor, will be present and speak at our regular meeting.
   We received a thank you from the Winnetka Club for helping them co-sponsor the program on September 12 which was a book review and presentation by Michael Hingson, who, with the help of his dog, led many people out of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.
    On October 17 from 6-8 pm there is a special reception  at the Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery (835 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago) featuring Bill Dreyer, Curator of the collection, presenting pieces from Dr. Seuss’ never-before-seen Hat Collection and other  works. Rotary will receive 10% of art sales to benefit our End Polio Now Program.
    On October 1st, Rotary International President, Gary Huang, will be special dinner guest at the Shee Highland Musee in Highland Park, with Sam and Isabel Shee hosting.
    The Artisan Chocolate and Wine Tasting event has been cancelled.
 
FEATURED SPEAKER WES BAUMANN:
 
   Long term Rotarian Wes Baumann started his presentation by reviewing his background growing up on the NW side of Chicago. He went to  private church schools through high school, then to Valparaiso University and on to get his Masters at Northern Illinois. He also received his Administration Certificate from Northwestern. He spent his early years teaching Biology and junior high science in Des Plaines, but Wes soon realized that he didn’t want to spend his career at the junior high level.
   In 1970 he became aware of an opening at New Trier, interviewed, and was hired as a Biology teacher and sophomore boys’ adviser. During his tenure at New Trier, in addition to teaching, he served as an adviser chair, a baseball coach, director of testing and head of operations services which scheduled all students for their classes. In the mid- 80’s he was the Principal of New Trier’s Freshman campus. In 1995 he was promoted to Principal of New Trier and served in that position for the last 7 years of his career. 
    Wes obviously enjoyed his career at New Trier and still lives in the community. He was impressed with the great kids at New Trier, the great faculty there and the commitment of the North Shore communities to support excellence in education. He described how teachers’ salaries “fell behind” in the 70’s, but gained ground in the 80’s and thereafter primarily because the top suburban school districts ended up in their union negotiations “leap frogging” each other to compete for the best teachers. .  New Trier is one of the few systems that has a merit pay program for teachers.. After the teacher reaches the Master’s level of pay, the only way they get more than the contractual negotiated amount is through an evaluation system that is basically done by their “peers”.
    The New Trier school district has an annual budget of about 110 million dollars with 72% of that going for salaries and benefits. This used to be 60%.  Whereas the average school district in Illinois  gets a majority of its funding from Federal and State sources, 97% of New Trier’s revenues come from the local taxpayers. New Trier has always produced a “quality product” with about 95% of its graduates going to college. The top 50% of New Trier students test in the upper 10% of all high school students in the Country.
   Wes explained how his letter to about 70 of his “close friends” back in 2009 went viral and was used as a platform for 62% of the voters to turn down the last New Trier referendum to spend 400 million dollars to build a new school in East Winnetka.  He opined that the current proposed referendum to spend 89 to 100 million on improving and updating New Trier’s facilities is a far better solution.
   The Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club is indeed fortunate to have had Wes as an active member of the Club for all these years  and for him to share his wealth of educational experiences and information with us. We also thank him for his weekly “recap” of our Club’s meetings.
 
 
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