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A closed-session meeting lasting more than three hours and three votes in an open meeting resulted in an extension of the contract of District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon until June 30, 2017. The contract would have expired in 2015.

Board Secretary William Stafford provided information about the votes. A motion by Mark Metz to extend the contract until June 30, 2018, was defeated 4-3, with Bill Geiger, Pat Savage-Williams and Mr. Metz voting in favor, and Jonathan Baum, Doug Holt, Scott Rochelle and Gretchen Livingston voting against.

A second motion, by Mr. Baum to extend the contract until June 30, 2016, failed 6-1. A third motion, by Mr. Rochelle, to extend the contract until June 30, 2017, was approved 5-2, with Mr. Geiger and Mr. Metz voting “no.” In open session, the contract extension was approved unanimously. 

“I appreciate the support of the school board and this contract extension. We are making great strides on accomplishing the district goals and seeing some historic results. ETHS is a remarkable school, and I look forward to continuing the momentum for achieving better and better outcomes for students at ETHS,” Dr. Witherspoon said. 

For the last six years the ACT composite scores have been 23.0 or higher, including the highest ever (23.9) in 2013. There has been a 62 percent increase in the number of students taking AP exams since Dr. Witherspoon arrived in 2006-07. This is the most students in the history of the school taking AP courses (Advanced Placement), including the largest increase in history of students of color taking these courses.

 District 202 Board President Gretchen Livingston said, “The Board is pleased to extend Dr. Witherspoon’s contract so that he can continue his progress in achieving the district goals. We have developed a positive working relationship with Dr. Witherspoon and look forward to continuing our work together in the service of our students.”