Shyla Kinhal Appointed as New Member of District 97 Board of Education

Shyla Kinhal

Shyla Kinhal was appointed as the newest member of the District 97 Board of Education on Sept. 28, 2021.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28, the District 97 Board of Education appointed Shyla Kinhal to fill the vacancy created in August by the resignation of Jeremy Duffy. Kinhal was officially sworn in during the meeting, and will serve until the next election in April 2023.

“The board was fortunate to have several diverse and highly-qualified candidates apply for the vacancy,” Board President Jung Kim said. “In the end, we concluded that Shyla’s extensive knowledge and experience in education made her the ideal candidate for the position. She is an excellent complement to our current board, and we are excited to continue working together to move the district’s priorities forward.”

Kinhal is currently the senior manager of early childhood and elementary literacy at the KIPP Foundation, which supports a nationwide network of college-preparatory, public charter schools. She has more than 15 years of experience in education, including eight years teaching in New York City Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University.

Outside of work, Kinhal serves on the Parent Advisory Council of the Day Nursery in Oak Park. She and her husband moved to the community two years ago with their two young daughters, who will eventually attend Lincoln Elementary School.

Kinhal said she is honored to have been selected as the newest member of the District 97 Board of Education.

“I am proud to be part of the Oak Park community and to have the opportunity to serve and support one of its most vital institutions,” Kinhal said. “District 97 is facing a number of challenges and important decisions, including the ongoing pandemic and the search for the next superintendent. I am looking forward to working with my fellow board members, the administration, and our entire district community to tackle these important issues and achieve our ultimate goal of creating safe and equitable learning environments for all students.”

A total of six individuals applied for the opening on the board earlier this month—one of whom withdrew prior to the interview process. Each candidate submitted a resume, letter of interest, and information packet, which included several questions about their background and qualifications. The board conducted panel-style interviews during a special meeting on Sept. 27 (click here for the recording), and announced Kinhal’s appointment during open session on Sept. 28.