Oakton Board reorganizes leadership; Paul Kotowski selected as Chair

Paul Kotowski was elected to a six-year Trustee term in 2017.

Des Plaines, Ill. (April 28, 2022) — At the April 26 Oakton Community College Board of Trustees’ organizational meeting, trustees selected Paul Kotowski, J.D., (Niles) as the new Board Chair for a one-year term. Also, Wendy Yanow, Ed.D., (Evanston) was selected to serve as Vice-Chair and Gail Bush, Ph.D., (Evanston) as Secretary. Current Student Trustee Akash Patel (Skokie) was recently elected by Oakton’s student body to serve a second, one-year term.

Kotowski was elected to the Oakton Board of Trustees in 2017 to serve a six-year term. He grew up in Skokie and attended Oakton from 1992 to 1994 before earning an accounting degree from Loyola University and then a law degree from DePaul University. Kotowski practices law and serves as counsel for Injury Lawyers of Illinois, a law firm representing victims of wrongful death and catastrophic injuries.

“It’s been an honor to serve as a member of Oakton’s Board of Trustees, and I’m excited for the new challenge of serving as Chair,” said Kotowski. “I’m confident that with support from my Board colleagues and the Oakton community, we will continue to fulfill our mission of empowering and transforming students’ lives through education.”

Yanow was elected to a six-year term as Oakton trustee in 2019. As an adult educator, she is a long-time adjunct faculty member, advisor, curriculum and program designer, and consultant who has trained faculty in teaching adult learners and assessing experiential learning. She is currently adjunct faculty in the Master of Arts in Educating Adults graduate program at the DePaul University School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Additionally, she has taught adult learners pursuing high school diplomas at the Howard Area Community Center and Dorothy Stang Popular High School in Chicago. She has facilitated community workshops on race and privilege, and has published about teaching race.

Bush was elected to a six-year term as Oakton trustee in 2019. She has had a long and distinguished career in educational leadership and instruction as a professor, director, and librarian in college, school, and corporate environments. She is an author and editor, contributing to works including educational theory and practice, library management, and most recently, a poetry anthology (2013). She serves on several other boards and professional committees and has a continuing and dynamic history of civic and community engagement.

Prior to the restructuring, trustees Martha Burns (Evanston) served as the Board’s Chair and Marie Lynn Toussaint (Evanston) as vice-chair, both of whom remain trustees. Kotowski previously served as Board secretary. Oakton’s seven-member Board of Trustees also includes William Stafford (Evanston) and Benjamin Salzberg (Northbrook).

Patel, a graduate of Niles North High School, is involved in the Student Government Association, Strategic Planning Committee and Academic Policies and Procedures Committee at the College.

More information about upcoming board meetings is available online.