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Eight candidates, among them two incumbents and three EHS alums, filed nominating petitions for the District 202 (Evanston Township High School) School Board: Elena Garcia Ansani, Andrew Bezaitis, Bill Geiger, Deborah Graham, Douglas Holt, Gretchen Livingston, Casey Miller and Patricia Savage-Williams.
Elena Garcia Ansani: Ms. Ansani, an Evanston resident since 1993, is married to Robert Ansani and has three children, two of whom are currently enrolled in Evanston public schools. She is a board member of the McGaw YMCA and the Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, a member of the City’s Race Relations Planning Committee, a member of the current Leadership Evanston class and the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy. She is working as an education researcher in completion of her doctorate in education at National-Louis University.
Andrew Bezaitis: Mr. Bezaitis, a 1984 graduate of ETHS, is chief operating officer at CellTrak Technologies, Inc. He has founded and served as chief operating officer of high-profile startup companies and of mid-sized businesses and served as vice president of research and development, product management and business/corporate development/strategy at large companies. Most recently he worked with investment groups and management teams to refocus and restructure their businesses. He holds several patents in mobile data and VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) communications.Mr. Bezaitis is the father of three children who have attended Lincoln, Dewey and Nichols schools.
Bill Geiger: Born and raised in Evanston, Mr. Geiger attended Willard and Haven schools and ETHS and graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in sociology and a minor in education. He returned to Evanston in 2003 to head the McGaw YMCA, where he is currently chief executive officer. His youngest daughter, Claire, is a 2005 graduate of ETHS. Since his return to Evanston, Mr. Geiger has led the McGaw Y’s focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. He has served on the ETHS Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee.
Deborah Graham: Incumbent Ms. Graham is a graduate of ETHS, with an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Northwestern. An independent writing and editing professional, she is seeking reelection because, she says, she feels the freshman restructuring needs additional work. She says she would like to see the administration focus on differentiated instruction “in a thoughtful way.” As Board member and alum, she says, “I care very deeply about the high school.”
Doug Holt: Mr. Holt has been an Evanston-Skokie resident since 1998. He and his wife, Jane, have three children, two of whom currently attend ETHS. He served in the Peace Corps, teaching high school biology and English as a Foreign Language in the Central African Republic. At present he is corporate communications director at Northern Trust. Last year, he served on School District 65’s Ad Hoc Citizens Budget Committee. He is a founding member and volunteer of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Joan of Arc Church.
Gretchen Livingston: Incumbent Ms. Livingston has lived in Evanston for nearly 23 years. An attorney not currently in practice, she was a partner at Jenner & Block before moving overseas. Her children attended Evanston schools, and one is now a junior at ETHS. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Loyola Law School. She has served on the School Improvement Team, the ED-RED/Joint Legislative Task Force and several Board committees – Policy, Audit, Finance, Wellness and City-School. She is a member of the PTSA and a member of the ETHS Foundation. She served on the board of the Interfaith Housing Association of the North Shore (now known as Open Communities). As a board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Association, she coordinated grassroots advocacy for Illinois.
Casey Miller: Mr. Miller moved to Evanston in 1993. He and his wife have two children, one a senior at ETHS and the other a seventh-grader at Haven Middle School. A graduate of Wabash College with a major in Russian and of Indiana University Law School, Mr. Miller worked on Capitol Hill for several years, where, among other tasks, he ran the Iran-Contra investigation. In Evanston he has been involved in activities with his children’s schools and is past president of the Evanston Baseball and Softball Association (EBSA). He also served on the Ethics Board of the City of Evanston. He and his family are members of Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University.
Patricia Savage-Williams: An educator for 33 years working with preschool students to seniors in high school, Ms. Savage-Williams worked as a school psychologist in District 65 for 25 years before moving to New Trier High School, where she is currently working as the Special Education coordinator. She has served as a Girl Scout co-leader for troop 2467 from 2005 to 2012 and has been a member of the Evanston Township High School Mixed-Level Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. She co-facilitates the Community Conversations on Race at the Evanston YWCA. She adds, “I have two recent ETHS graduates and have lived in the Evanston-Skokie community for more than 30 years.