Board Members

Board of Education Members:

Dechovitz - 9-17-15-1

Louise Dechovitz (Vice President)  
I have been a resident of Wilmette for 7 years. I grew up in the area and is a graduate of New Trier.  I then attended Lawrence University and have a BA in Slavic Linguistics and Literature. Following graduation, I spent the next 9 years living and working abroad, in Russia, France and England. I pursued a career in Expatriate Tax and worked for Deloitte Tax LLP in Paris, London and Chicago. I have two children in the Avoca School District. I have volunteered in many capacities in District 37 including PTC Director of Volunteers, PTC committee chairperson for spirit wear, member of numerous PTC committees and co-founder of the Avoca Different Learners group which serves as a forum for parents of children with special needs and other learning differences to connect with each other. I strongly believe that you cannot educate a child’s mind without also educating the heart.
Term: 2015-2019

E-mail: dechovitzl@avoca37.org

Dan E. Garbis (Member)
My family and I have lived in the Avoca District for the past fourteen years. With four children in the school district ranging from second to ninth grade, I have experienced the entire span of District 37. I received my bachelors from DePaul in accounting and passed the CPA exam. I then proceeded to go to DePaul Law School and graduated with highest honors. After graduating law school, I have worked as an accountant for a then big-six accounting firm, before moving on to corporate restructuring law at a top international law firm. I am currently a co-owner of the Garbis Law Firm and specialize in civil and criminal litigation. I also volunteer in the community. I am an usher at mychurch, and often coach various church and park district sports teams.
Term: 2017-2021
E-mail: garbisd@avoca37.org 

 

Gil Gibori (Member)
Profile available upon request.
Term: 2017-2021
E-mail: giborig@avoca37.org

 

 

Joel

Joel H. Raynes (Member)
My wife, Marsha and I are Wilmette residents and the parents of one child David, who is currently a senior at New Trier High School. My undergraduate degree was earned from Drake University, where I majored in sociology and also worked toward a graduate degree in guidance and counseling. I was a former coach for the Wilmette Eagle’s football team and also coached youth baseball in Wilmette. I currently work as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in their Wilmette office.  Formerly, I worked as a banker for 31 years.  I am president of a Stock investment club and serve as a director of two Chamber of Commerce. I also am a member of Kiwanis Club of Skokie Valley. I was formerly President of the Avoca PTC for four consecutive years. I believe that my financial background allows me to be a contributing member of the finance committee. I am proud of having a role in maintaining and building Avoca’s excellence.
Term:  2015-2019
E-mail: raynesj@avoca37.org

Sheryl A. Swibel (Member
My husband, Larry, and I have lived in the Avoca District since 1983, and all three of our children attended school here.   I am originally from Boston, and received my B.A. at the University of Rochester in psychology and education and my M.S. in Special Education at Vanderbilt University.   I was a special education teacher in Chicago for a number of years and, after leaving the workforce, became active in the Avoca District.  When my children attended Avoca schools, I volunteered regularly with the Avoca PTC. Later, I served on the Board of Education for 9 and a half years.  While on the Board I chaired the Community Relations, Curriculum, Long Range Planning, and Policy Committees, and participated in the development of strategic plans for the District.  In 2012, I was thrilled to be appointed to the Board again, to fill a vacated position.  I was officially elected for a 2-year term in 2013 and was then elected for a 4 year term in 2015.  The 8 year gap between my prior term and my current term has given me a unique perspective.  I continue to value both short-term goals and long-term planning, and I recognize the importance of not only volunteering as a parent of an Avoca student, but also serving our District as a long-time member of our community.  I am passionate about the hallmark of an Avoca education:  not only a program of the highest quality conducted with fiscal responsibility, but one that encourages innovation to achieve 21st century best practices.

Term:  2015-2019
E-mail: swibels@avoca37.org

Jamie Taylor (Member)
My husband, Rob, and I have lived in Winnetka with our three children for the past 11 years. I am currently a stay-at-home mom and dedicated volunteer. I have achieved meaningful relationships with administration, teachers and parents due to my nine years of volunteer service to District 37. I also serve as Vice President of the Woodley Road Garden Club and previously served on the Board of the Chicago Dancing Festival and as Treasurer of Northfield Community Nursery School.

I graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley (1992 – 1995) and then returned to graduate school to earn an MBA from the University of Chicago (2000 – 2002). I started my career at LaSalle Bank where I worked for its loan syndications group. I was responsible for structuring the bank’s largest loans and selling off segments to other financial institutions (1995 – 2001). Later I joined Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management as an equity analyst and portfolio manager (2001 – 2007).

My priority is to sustain the District’s reputation for academic excellence while safeguarding its financial security. I will work with other Board members  and district administration to carry out the Mission, Vision and Values identified within the 2016 Strategic Plan. I believe my educational background and finance skills provide me with the tools to address the District’s aging facilities and navigate expected budgetary shortfalls and financing issues.
Term: 2017-2021
E-Mail: taylorj@avoca37.org


RickRick Zelinsky (President)
My wife, Faith, and I are Northfield residents for the past eighteen years and are parents of two boys, whom both attended Avoca from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. I am a technology professional by trade and, for the past three decades, have been fascinated by the unprecedented growth in availability, adoption and advancement of technology. I have been on the Avoca District 37 School Board for the past eight years, currently as the Board President and as Board Vice President from 2015-2017.  I have had the pleasure to serve the Board as both a parent and, more recently, a general community member.   My initial involvement with District 37 began in 2003 as a parent representative for the District Technology Committee.  As a cross-functional team, we established the original long-term technology plan for the district, involving one of the most progressive initiatives (1:1 student-to-laptop) in district history. My three priorities for the board are: providing oversight and support of the recently created strategic plan, enhancing communication and “connectedness” with both parent and non-parent communities, and maintaining fiscal discipline including addressing the long-term plan for Avoca Center.  It has been an honor to give back to the Avoca community through my Board work, and I look forward to continuing to share my passion for technology and focus on students while ensuring the best use of our taxpayers’ resources.
Term:  2017-2021
E-mail: zelinskr@avoca37.org