Meet the Board
Robin Cleek, President
Robin Cleek attended Hawthorn schools as a child and returned to reside in Vernon Hills with her husband in 2004. As of August, 2015 all three of her children will be enrolled in the district. Over the past several years she has volunteered at various PTO events and weekly in the classroom, as well as serving on the Reorganization Committee in the spring of 2014. Robin has a Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She currently stays home with her children but still practices law when called upon by family and friends.
Wes Polen, Vice President
Wes Polen resides in Vernon Hills with her husband, Scott, and their two children. She actively participates in the Hawthorn community by volunteering at various PTO and school events, and as a Midwest Young Artist Conservatory parent volunteer. Wes holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is currently a chief operating officer for a government relations consulting firm in Chicago.
George Fievet, Secretary
Mr. Fievet currently serves as a senior technical manager at AIM Specialty Health in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has held multiple positions over the years. He started as a developer in 2006, was promoted to manager in 2007 and has continued to receive additional responsibilities as manager up to the present. Prior to joining AIM, he worked at Teradyne, Inc. as a software developer from 1998 to 2006. He started as a platform development engineer and later became a customer applications engineer.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from Iowa State University, and a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in organizational behavior from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
He and his wife, Julie, have lived in Vernon Hills for more than 12 years. They have two sons who both attend a school in Hawthorn District 73. He is active with the Boy Scouts of America, presently serving as the Cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 273 in Vernon Hills.
Matt Jacobs has lived in Hawthorn District 73 since 2007. He and his wife, Abra, have lived in the Deerpath neighborhood since 2013. Their two children, Colin and Ryan, will attend Aspen Elementary School in the fall 2017. Matt has volunteered his time in charity work through his cover band, and with umpiring and coaching baseball and softball through the Vernon Hills Community Baseball organization. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration, and is currently a Quality Assurance Analyst for W.R. Berkley Corporation in Naperville.
A resident of Vernon Hills, Victoria Helander-Heiser has extensive experience as a supervisor of student teachers at the university level. For the past six years, she served in this role at a number of colleges/universities throughout the Midwest. She also served as a consultant to schools and non-profit organizations through the Executive Service Corps of Chicago from 2010 to the present. Her professional experience includes serving as Director/Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at Northfield Township High School District #225 and as Director of Personnel and Coordinator of Public Information at Adlai E. Stevenson High School District #125 in Lincolnshire. She also served as a journalism/English teacher at a variety of Illinois and Michigan high schools.
Sonali resides in Vernon Hills with her husband and two children. She was a member of the district‘s Strategic Planning Committee and has volunteered in her children’s schools. Sonali has a Ph.D in pharmacology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Bombay in India. She currently stays at home to care for her children.
A resident of Vernon Hills, Joel Finfer is retired from a four-decade career in sales and marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and brings the Hawthorn District 73 School Board 30 years of passionate advocacy for public education. Joel served on the school board of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire and currently serves on the board of the Stevenson High School Community Foundation. The titles he holds most dear are husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather.