The April 19 District 202 School Board meeting was a festival of appointments, elections, awards and positive words on Facebook for the Wildkit community.

Board Officers

School Board President Rachel Hayman and Vice President Jane Colleton were unanimously re-elected for a second one-year term.

“It is exciting to continue to lead the Board during this transformative time at District 202,” Ms Hayman told the RoundTable. “The Board has adopted a detailed set of goals for the next two years, with specific criteria for measuring progress. Our focus is to improve literacy and numeracy for all students, to increase graduation rates, to reduce truancy and discipline issues, and to increase community and parental involvement at ETHS.”

Referring to the ongoing Board and administration training and discussions with Pacific Educational Group Ms. Hayman emphasized, “In the coming year we will dive more deeply into our equity work, as we are determined to create a single school, where race is not predictive of achievement, where student voice is listened to and respected, and where all students are afforded equitable access to an excellent education.”

Student Board Representative

ETHS Senior Joel Michael-Schwartz was elected to the Board by 269 of his fellow students. As the runner-up with 241 votes, Noah Gaynor will serve as an alternate.

“I’ve been trying to make this school an even better place than it already is,” Mr. Michael-Schwartz told the Board after he was sworn in. Mr. Michael-Schwartz, who acknowledged that he is known by some for “raising a ruckus” also stated, “I hope that I will be able to contribute in this upcoming year”

Tenure Appointments

To everything there is a season … As District 202 sees a record number of teachers retire, they also ensured the future quality and continuity of their faculty by granting tenure to 23 individuals. Tenure is granted to a faculty member after four years of employment at ETHS, during which time, according to Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, the teacher and the administration work together to determine if the relationship is going to be “a good fit.”

The Student Services department had six individuals (social workers and counselors) granted tenure, and the English department was next highest with four. All other departments had at least one tenure grantee, with the exception of Science.

Financial Recognition Award

The Illinois State Board of Education awarded D202 its highest obtainable category, “Financial Recognition.”

“In these very difficult financial times fewer and fewer districts are qualifying for this highest recognition,” remarked Dr. Witherspoon, presenting the award to Chief Financial Officer William Stafford.

“Absent your stewardship, we could be in a much worse financial situation than we are,” commented Board member Deborah Graham. “We are very fortunate that we haven’t had to resort to the draconian measures that other school districts have had to employ.”

ETHS Facebook Mice Make Nice

After a Facebook page called “Evanston Rats” was characterized as “hurtful” and “cyberbullying,” students Joey Fisher and Paul Pint started a group on Facebook called “Evanston Mice,” outgoing student board representative Alex Ross told the Board. The group now has over 1,500 members after less than a week.

“[The group] gives people a medium through which they can tell the ones they care about how they really feel” co-founder Joey Fisher told the RoundTable. “People do not say these things out loud often enough and I believe it’s a great way to improve our caring and kind community by spreading good feelings and love to everyone.”

Superintendent Witherspoon agreed. “We want our students to learn that being mean about other people, bullying other people is not acceptable behavior,” he told the RoundTable. We want our students to learn to be kind and respectful to other human beings. Evanston Mice represents the best of what I see in our students every day.  I applaud our students for starting Evanston Mice, and I am proud of all the students who have contributed kind, generous, positive comments to show their appreciation for their classmates.”

Board Officers

School Board President Rachel Hayman and Vice President Jane Colleton were unanimously re-elected for a second one-year term.

“It is exciting to continue to lead the Board during this transformative time at District 202,” Ms Hayman told the RoundTable. “The Board has adopted a detailed set of goals for the next two years, with specific criteria for measuring progress. Our focus is to improve literacy and numeracy for all students, to increase graduation rates, to reduce truancy and discipline issues, and to increase community and parental involvement at ETHS.”

Referring to the ongoing Board and administration training and discussions with Pacific Educational Group Ms. Hayman emphasized, “In the coming year we will dive more deeply into our equity work, as we are determined to create a single school, where race is not predictive of achievement, where student voice is listened to and respected, and where all students are afforded equitable access to an excellent education.”

Student Board Representative

ETHS Senior Joel Michael-Schwartz was elected to the Board by 269 of his fellow students. As the runner-up with 241 votes, Noah Gaynor will serve as an alternate.

“I’ve been trying to make this school an even better place than it already is,” Mr. Michael-Schwartz told the Board after he was sworn in. Mr. Michael-Schwartz, who acknowledged that he is known by some for “raising a ruckus” also stated, “I hope that I will be able to contribute in this upcoming year”

Tenure Appointments

To everything there is a season … As District 202 sees a record number of teachers retire, they also ensured the future quality and continuity of their faculty by granting tenure to 23 individuals. Tenure is granted to a faculty member after four years of employment at ETHS, during which time, according to Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, the teacher and the administration work together to determine if the relationship is going to be “a good fit.”

The Student Services department had six individuals (social workers and counselors) granted tenure, and the English department was next highest with four. All other departments had at least one tenure grantee, with the exception of Science.

Financial Recognition Award

The Illinois State Board of Education awarded D202 its highest obtainable category, “Financial Recognition.”

“In these very difficult financial times fewer and fewer districts are qualifying for this highest recognition,” remarked Dr. Witherspoon, presenting the award to Chief Financial Officer William Stafford.

“Absent your stewardship, we could be in a much worse financial situation than we are,” commented Board member Deborah Graham. “We are very fortunate that we haven’t had to resort to the draconian measures that other school districts have had to employ.”

ETHS Facebook Mice Make Nice

After a Facebook page called “Evanston Rats” was characterized as “hurtful” and “cyberbullying,” students Joey Fisher and Paul Pint started a group on Facebook called “Evanston Mice,” outgoing student board representative Alex Ross told the Board. The group now has over 1,500 members after less than a week.

“[The group] gives people a medium through which they can tell the ones they care about how they really feel” co-founder Joey Fisher told the RoundTable. “People do not say these things out loud often enough and I believe it’s a great way to improve our caring and kind community by spreading good feelings and love to everyone.”

Superintendent Witherspoon agreed. “We want our students to learn that being mean about other people, bullying other people is not acceptable behavior,” he told the RoundTable. We want our students to learn to be kind and respectful to other human beings. Evanston Mice represents the best of what I see in our students every day.  I applaud our students for starting Evanston Mice, and I am proud of all the students who have contributed kind, generous, positive comments to show their appreciation for their classmates.”