In Support of Richard Rykhus


I am writing in support of Richard Rykhus, who is running for a seat on the Evanston-Skokie District 65 School Board.

Richard is extremely qualified to serve on the Board. He has a master’s degree from Northwestern University in education and social policy, as well as bachelor’s degrees in business and Spanish. In his work as a technology and learning consultant, Richard has helped schools integrate technology into their classrooms. He has taught English as a second language and has also tutored students in Spanish.

Since 2002, Richard has been the director of strategic learning at Grant Thornton LLP, where he focuses on learning and performance initiatives. His background in business and education will help him make tough decisions as he serves on the District 65 Board. Richard will ask these questions: Are we spending our money wisely? What do the data show? Are our students being well served in our schools?

Moreover, Richard has the personality and character to serve effectively on the Board. He approaches every question with reason and calm. He looks for ways to resolve conflict.

Richard comes from a long line of educators. Education was the topic at the dinner table when he was growing up.

I first met Richard when he joined Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE), an advocacy group for children with special needs. Richard and I both have children who are disabled.

Please get to know Richard Rykhus. Go to

 Early voting starts March 14.

                                   – Nancy Traver 

In Support of Mark Metz


An important election campaign is under way to choose the members of the District 202 School Board, the elected officials responsible for Evanston Township High School.  I urge RoundTable readers to vote for Mark Metz, an extraordinarily well-qualified candidate and current member of the D202 Board.

Evanston Township High School is the point at which all our young people come together for education that will prepare them for their own futures and, together, to shape the future of Evanston.  We have one of the finest high schools in the nation and Mark, as a member of the Board, plays an important part in continuing and building on its tradition of excellence.

As a member of the District 202 Board, Mark Metz brings a thoughtful analytical style, tireless effort and an intense focus on the issues.  He listens carefully to all points of view.   He welcomes fresh ideas.  He is a strong and consistent advocate for policies that are in the best interest of the students.

Mark understands the fine points of budget policy, the result of a career in the financial industry.  It is a skill he brought to the City of Evanston as the chairman of a special committee formed to clarify the challenge of meeting the City’s pension responsibilities. 

As the parent of three children who graduated from ETHS, Mark is one who has seen firsthand all that ETHS offers as well as the challenges confronting the school.

My own long-time collaboration with Mark came through his years as president of the Evanston Baseball and Softball Association.  He led us through a period of dramatic growth in the sport in Evanston, working closely with the City to develop the remarkable set of fields at James Park.  It was no accident that after his term as the head of EBSA, Mark went on to further volunteer service on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board, a position he still holds.

Hundreds of young baseball players – my own sons included – know Mark as Coach Metz.  He not only taught them the skills of the game, he imparted its values and shared with them the fun.  When we took our first teams of 12-year-olds to the well-known tournaments in Cooperstown, Mark was the coach who took them.  Today he is a volunteer coach with the ETHS baseball team.

Mark Metz brings the dedication, skill, financial wisdom and sense of humanity that we need in a civic leader and I encourage RoundTable readers to vote for him to continue his service on the District 202 School Board.

– Ray Boyer

Vacant Lot for Jobs


The Research Park has a vacant lot, fronting Emerson.  How about negotiating with Northwestern, condemning the lot the City once owned (before the developers took over) and peddling it to Northwestern for a commitment to create enough jobs, with benefits and pensions, to fill a building?

                                     – Dan Feldman

Groundhog Day

Through quip phrased Groundhog Day epigram

A scribe strives to contrive wry whim-wham.

As in some pun witty

Like this profundity

Groundhog is woodchuck, ground hog is Spam.

– Robert J. Bagby

Salvation Army Sends Kudos


Evanston is a caring community that is willing to give of themselves to help those who are in need. 

On November 19, 2010, the Evanston Salvation Army Corps held its annual Red Kettle Kick-Off.  It was a festive occasion and well attended by city officials, the Northwestern University Women’s Lacrosse team and members of our community.  Those present learned of the work and commitment of The Salvation Army and the services that are provided to the Evanston community. They were also told of a goal of $175,000 to help Evanston families during the holiday season and throughout the year.

It is with gratitude and heartfelt appreciation that we recognize and pay tribute to those who made the goal a reality.  In addition to those who made financial contributions, we are also very appreciative and want to thank the many volunteers who rang the bells, wrapped gifts, packed food boxes, and collected and organized clothing and toys for children.  We would also like to share a special thanks to Jonathan Perman, director of the Chamber of Commerce, for paving the way to and Albert Belmonte of Wesley Realty for donating the space that became the Corps’ Christmas Workshop! 

– Majors Alberto and Felicia Rapley


Watching the District 65 School Board meeting on Monday night, Jan 24th, I was shocked to see the way Superintendent Hardy Murphy treated board member Tracy Quattrocki when she requested that discussion of criteria used for evaluating college-career readiness standards be added to a future board meeting agenda.  Was Dr. Murphy trying to intimidate her or to deflect discussion from the real issue:  To what extent is District 65 closing the achievement gap and how well are we measuring these results.

From my observations of watching School Board meetings, Ms. Quattrocki consistently does her homework, asks well-thought-out questions, and thoroughly understands the research and data being discussed.  If the superintendent and the rest of this board are as committed as she is to providing the best possible education for all Evanston children, they should be thanking Ms. Quattrocki for her service, not attacking her.  

Evanstonians, it is our responsibility to pay attention and hold our elected officials responsible.  I urge you to join me in voting for school board candidates who believe it is their responsibility to thoroughly understand and question the data presented, as Tracy Quattrocki does.  The April 5th School Board election is during District 65’s Spring Break.  Early voting at the Evanston Civic Center begins March 14th. 

Evan Girard