To the Editor:
Perhaps you have seen Richard Rykhus speak at a board meeting in the past year or so. You may be familiar with his work on the board of Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education). I was very impressed when I met Richard for the first time at the June 2010 District 65 school board meeting, where many citizens spoke about the proposed contract extension for the D65 superintendent. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer on Richard’s extremely well-prepared, well-researched campaign for the school board.
The son of both a schoolteacher and a school administrator, Richard grew up listening to (and participating) in lively debates around the dinner table, and so sees education from a multifaceted point of view. He is also able to appreciate a multitude of cultures, with an African-American son he parents with his husband, Carlos – a Mexican-American professor of Philosophy. Richard has been a tireless representative of not only special education, ESL and language instruction for differently-abled students; he has championed safety in schools for students and staff who are gay and lesbian.
In addition to his consistent representation on behalf of underserved populations in education, Richard has managed multi-million-dollar budgets and campaigns as Vice-President of Business Development at Mesirow Financial. As Director of Strategic Learning for Grant Thornton, LLP, Richard has used his degrees in marketing, Spanish, and Learning Sciences to improve the learning and performance of a wide variety of organizations.
Every person with whom I’ve discussed the campaign who has met Richard in person or seen him speak has been riveted by his dynamism, eloquence, and dedication to improving the way our school district operates – from educational opportunities to communication to board governance. Richard’s dedication to improvement will result in the best kind of advocate – one who manages to listen to every side of a discussion, carefully evaluate all of the issues, and take his time to ensure he is contributing to the best possible decision.
With his astounding attention to detail, extremely dynamic and competent speaking ability, and connection to many different groups and cultures in Evanston and beyond, I think Richard Rykhus will be an incredibly valuable and important member of District 65’s school board. Please join me in voting for Richard Rykhus, now during early voting, or on election day on April 5th!
Jodi Glenn Fox