Four people have filed papers with the Cook County Clerk’s office to run for a position on the District 65 School Board and seven have filed papers to run for the District 202 School Board, according to the clerk’s office. There are three seats that will be filled on each Board in the April 7 election.

This article gives a very brief overview of the candidates and a sampling of some of the professional and community activities they have engaged in.

School District 65

On the District 65 Board, the terms of Katie Bailey, Omar Brown and Richard Rykhus are expiring. Incumbents Mr.  Brown and Mr. Rykhus have each filed papers to run for office.

Mr. Brown was appointed to the School Board in August. He is Vice President of Human Resources for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), a member of the Chessmen Club of the North Shore, a basketball coach with the Fellowship of Afro-American Men (FAAM) and a member of the Board of Youth Organization Umbrella (Y.O.U.).

Mr. Rykhus was elected to the School Board in 2011 and is vice president of the Board and chair of the  Board’s Finance Committee. He is Director, People & Culture – Technology & Innovation at Grant Thornton. He previously served on the board of Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education).  He holds an M.A. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University.

Two others are seeking a seat on the District 65 Board: Adrian Dortch and Jennifer Phillips.

Mr. Dortch is a performing artist and music producer and took music and business classes at Columbia College. He is an officer of Entrepreneur Endeavors, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, and is secretary of the board of Evanston Cable Television (ECTV).

Ms. Phillips organized a group of more than 150 District 65 parents called Math Matters that is focusing on math instruction, and she is a member of District 65’s High Quality Teaching and Learning committee as part of the District’s strategic planning process. She is an independent consultant for non-profits and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.

School District 202

On the District 202 Board, the terms of Jonathan Baum, Mark Metz and Scott Rochelle are expiring. Each has filed papers to run for office again.

Mr. Baum has served on the District 202 Board since 2011. Previously he served on the District 65 School Board. He is Director of Pro Bono Services at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and holds a law degree from the University of Chicago. He served on the board of Y.O.U. for many years, and as chair of Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Mr. Metz has served on the School Board since 2009, and was president of the Board in 2011-12. He was a senior executive in pension and administration until he retired in 2008. He is a member and past president of the City’s Parks and Recreation Board, and he chaired the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Police and Fire Pension Plans.

Mr. Rochelle has served on the School Board since 2011. He is vice president and general counsel for the NBA Retired Players Association, and received his law degree from the University of Illinois.  He is a member of the Chessmen Club of the Northshore, and a volunteer at Suzuki-Orff School of Music and at Center for Independent Futures.

Four others are also seeking a seat on the District 202 Board. Mr. Dortch (who is also running for the District 65 Board), Andrea Mainelli, Monique R. Parsons and Anne Sills.

Ms. Mainelli runs an educational consulting business, and previously held senior management positions with the College Board and Kaplan Inc. She has served on the board of Cherry Preschool, has been an AYSO soccer coach, and is a member of District 65’s Financial Sustainability committee as part of the strategic planning process. She holds an MBA degree from Harvard.

Ms. Parsons is chief operating officer of McGaw YMCA and is a member of District 65’s Strategic Plan External Advisory Committee. She has served on the executive board of FAAM, been a mentor with the Youth Job Center and serves on the board of Connections for the Homeless. She received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.

Ms. Sills operated Sills & Company Catering for 17 years. She currently serves as a member of the Community Legislative Committee of Evanston/Skokie School District 65/202 and works on farm-to-school, local food, and nutrition initiatives. She has previously served as a member of District 65’s referendum committee, as chair of the Joint Legislative Task Force and as president of the PTA Council.

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...