The District 202 School Board decided last month to extend Superintendent Eric Witherspoon’s contract by two years. With the extension, Dr. Witherspoon’s tenure at Evanston Township High School will extend to June 30, 2013.
Dr. Witherspoon has served as ETHS’ superintendent for two years. In his tenure he has overseen the implementation of the “System of Supports” program, which mandates morning study time for struggling students and provides study centers in each core subject area for all students; and he has recommended revisions to the freshman humanities program in order to increase the number of minority students in honors level classes.
“It has been a total pleasure to work with Dr. Witherspoon,” Martha Burns, president of the District 202 School Board, told the RoundTable.
“In the two years he has been here he has transformed the whole school. The administrative team is working together. He is very inclusive with the teachers.
“The System of Supports helps all kids,” she said. It just doesn’t target kids of color. It doesn’t just target white kids. It targets all kids., Ms. Burns said.
Ms. Burns added that the changes in the humanities program hold a lot of promise. “ETHS has been segregated in many ways in how students were placed,” she said. “It is significant for him to make these changes in this community. …I like the way he’s bringing us all together to make us one school. People are working really well together now,” she said.
The Board approved a 4 percent salary increase, which will bring his salary to $215,800 this year, and agreed to increase the retirement annuity paid on his behalf from $31,125 last year to $38,884 this year, Bill Stafford, chief financial officer for the District, told the RoundTable. The District also pays contributions on his behalf to the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System.