Cinda KlicknaCinda Klickna of Rochester and Andrew J. Hirshman of Oak Park have been elected by active members of Teachers’ Retirement System to the retirement fund’s Board of Trustees, according to preliminary results of the 2015 Trustee election announced today.

Andrew HirshmanIf certified by the TRS Board of Trustees this spring, Klickna and Hirshman will begin their four-year terms on July 15. The other two candidates vying for two open seats on the Board were Bradley D. Cauffman of Naperville and Hilde I. Elg of Glen Ellyn.

In all, 4,124 valid electronic and paper ballots were counted. Each active member was allowed to vote for two candidates. The official vote totals were:

  • Cinda J. Klickna: 3,489
  • Andrew J. Hirshman 2,902
  • Bradley D. Cauffman: 940
  • Hilde I. Elg: 634

The month-long balloting period for the two seats ended at 10 a.m. on May 1. This was the first contested election for TRS trustee since 2001.

Klickna currently is president of the Illinois Education Association and has served as a TRS trustee for 12 years. Hirshman is a social studies teacher at Mundelein High School in Lake County.

Under state law, six members of the 13-member Board are elected by TRS members. Four members are elected solely by the System’s 160,000 active members and two members are elected by the 101,000 TRS retired members. Trustees are elected every two years to staggered four-year terms.

Six members of the TRS Board are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Illinois Senate. The 13th member, by law, is always the state superintendent of public instruction, who also is the president of the Board.

This spring, along with the two open active member trustee seats, one retired member seat was open for election. However, only one candidate for that seat filed the necessary petitions of member signatures needed to gain access to the ballot. Later this spring the Board by acclamation will appoint that candidate, Daniel Winter, to the Board. His term also will begin on July 15. Winter, of Decatur, is a retired teacher and school board president in Decatur School District 61.

Two current TRS trustees are retiring from the Board this year after serving 16 years each. Sharon Leggett of Evanston is an elected active member trustee and will be replaced by Trustee-elect Hirshman. Cynthia O’Neill of Carlyle is an elected retired member of the Board and will be replaced by Trustee-elect Winter.

The other current members of the TRS Board are State School Superintendent Tony Smith of River Forest, Mark Bailey of Palos Park, Michael Busby of Kenilworth, Rainy Kaplan of Schaumburg, Bob Lyons of Hoffman Estates and Sonia Walwyn of Naperville.


About Teachers’ Retirement System

The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois is the 39th largest pension system in the United States, and provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to teachers, administrators and other public school personnel employed outside of Chicago. The System serves 395,000 members and had assets of $44.5 billion as of January 31, 2015.