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Byas, Hirshman and Strand Elected to TRS Board

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SPRINGFIELD – Marsha Byas of Harrisburg, Trustee Andrew Hirshman of Oak Park and Douglas Strand of East Moline have been elected by members of Teachers’ Retirement System to the retirement fund’s Board of Trustees, according to preliminary results of the 2019 Trustee election announced today.

If certified by the TRS Board of Trustees this spring, Ms. Byas, Mr. Strand and Trustee Hirshman will begin their four-year terms on July 15.

This is Trustee Hirshman’s second term on the TRS Board as one of the four trustees elected by “active” TRS members. He was first elected in 2015. Ms. Byas also was elected by “active” members. Mr. Strand joins the Board as one of two trustees elected by TRS annuitants.

The other candidate vying for one of the two open seats on the Board designated for “active” TRS members was Kathleen Hinz of Crystal Lake. The other candidate vying for the single “annuitant” seat was Trustee Cinda Klickna of Rochester. Because she retired during her most recent term as an “active member” trustee and wanted to be re-elected, Trustee Klickna was required by law to run as a candidate for an annuitant seat. She was first elected to the Board in 2003.

Mr. Strand will assume the annuitant seat of Trustee Daniel Winter of Decatur, who decided not to seek re-election after one term.

In all, 11,289 valid electronic and paper ballots were counted. Each active member was allowed to vote for two candidates. Annuitants could only vote for one candidate.

For the active trustee seat, the official vote totals were:

Marsha Byas   1,979
Kathleen Hinz   


Andrew Hirshman   2,098

For the annuitant trustee seat, the official vote totals were:

Cinda Klickna    3,936
Douglas Strand  


 The month-long balloting period for the three seats ended at 10 a.m. on May 1.

Ms. Byas teaches third grade special education classes. Trustee Hirshman teaches economics and world history at Mundelein High School. Mr. Strand retired from United Township High School in East Moline after 40 years of service in education.

Under state law, six members of the 13-member Board are elected by TRS members. Four members are elected solely by the System’s 161,000 active members and two members are elected by the 110,000 annuitants. 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.

The other current members of the TRS Board are State Superintendent Carmen I. Ayala of Downers Grove, Mark Bailey of Palos Park, Devon Bruce of Lake Forest, Maureen Mena of Bolingbrook, Laura P. Pearl of Glenview, Fred Peronto of Elmhurst and Larry Pfeiffer of Carlinville.

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 417,000 members and had assets of $50 billion as of December 31, 2018.


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