Not quite 30 years ago, Trinity High School in River Forest was in real trouble. Enrollment was falling and ongoing talks about a merger with Oak Park’s Fenwick High School were hung up on the particulars of how to meld the two proud institutions into a co-ed Catholic school.

When Fenwick decided it would simply become a co-ed school, Trinity was left adrift and expectations of its closing were loud and clear.

That’s when Trinity’s board made the fateful choice to recruit Sr. Michelle Germanson, then a dean at neighboring Dominican University, to be its president. Germanson, one of the great positive forces we’ve encountered, made the bet to celebrate Trinity’s all-woman model but substantially upgrade its curriculum, grow a more diverse student body, and raise a lot of money.

She was all in on Trinity and her enthusiasm was a determining force in giving the school a new identity, a new sense of purpose, and always, a new sense of pride and fun. 

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