Thumbnail Profile: ETHS graduate (1969). Attended Kendall College, Columbia College Chicago. Retired owner/operator of Sills & Company Catering. Lived in Evanston for five years after graduating from ETHS before moving to Chicago. Returned to Evanston in 1986. Two children attended Lincolnwood/Haven/ETHS.
Civic Activities: Community Legislative Committee member; Board Member Evanston Food Exchange; past president, Evanston/Skokie Council of PTAs; past chair, Joint Legislative Task Force; Community Legislative Committee member representative to ED-RED; ETHS School Improvement Team member; ETHS K-12 Standards Committee member.
Top Three Priorities: Ms. Sills says her top three priorities are 1) “to protect and ensure the fiscal integrity of District 202; 2) “to continue supporting efforts to raise student achievement; and 3) “to develop Board goals that support the values of our Evanston/Skokie communities and guide the administration and staff in their efforts on behalf our residents, students and families.”
Two Major Decisions of the Board You Agree/Disagree With: “I agree with the decision that the Boards made to formulate a resolution against Senate Bill 16 as
presented,” said Ms. Sills. “I support the adoption of the “Evanston/Skokie Districts 65/202 Joint Resolution Opposing Illinois Senate Bill 16. The resolution describes the State’s responsibility to fund public education, the State’s inadequacy of funding, continuing late payments to Evanston/Skokie School Districts, which disrupt budget planning, and the burden of unfunded mandates, which are numerous. Reliance of ‘alternate grant’-funded districts, such as ours, on local tax revenue, ‘fulfills the responsibility’ which is the State’s. Discussions around SB16 (now SB1) are ongoing and bill sponsors continue to seek input. Finding solutions to equitable funding of public education in Illinois is a shared responsibility. School Districts must protect the tax dollars that the community provides and use them wisely and efficiently. Not all school districts can be supported by local tax dollars. I have discussed the need for adequate funding in Illinois at Joint Legislative Task Force meetings for the past many years and in Community Legislative Committee meetings during the last two years. As a Board member, I will continue to be a part of ongoing discussions.”
Ms. Sills adds, “I agree with the restructuring of freshman-year humanities and now biology. This restructuring exposes all students to a rigorous curriculum where students must earn honors credit. This is a shift in expectations, and as a Board member I will listen to parents, teachers, and administrators and remain open to feedback on how this restructuring is being managed in the classroom.”
How You Will Influence Student Achievement: “Addressing the student population that does not have a direction for their future continues to challenge our community and ETHS and is of utmost importance,” says Ms. Sills. “It is a challenge which the administration and Board, in tandem with the community, must be committed to solving. We address this challenge through the interconnected relationships within the community, gathering all our assets to work on behalf of our children and facilitate this through achievable goal-setting which the Board believes is possible to achieve.
“The school must continue to monitor its programs and have a willingness to modify programs as it assesses how students progress. If data suggests modifications, the administration must be open to the necessary changes. The support systems offered at ETHS are numerous, and the curriculum is such that students at the top continue to be challenged. In addition, curriculum through Northwestern University is available.
“I will work to reopen discussion on the 2009 Healthy Communities Resolution, which was adopted by both Boards as a statement of commitment to improve food, nutrition, child development, and achievement. I will be an advocate for policies to connect community efforts to develop a local food policy which addresses hunger and poverty in our communities.
“Standardized testing offers a look at student achievement and illustrates how students retain grade-level instruction. It is only one measure of how students comprehend and how benchmarks at met at grade level.”
How You Will Influence Fiscal Efficiencies: “I will read the budget carefully and ask questions of the CFO and my colleagues on the Board,” says Ms. Sills. “If additional help is needed, I will seek outside clarity to help make the best fiscal decisions possible.” If budget cuts are necessary, “I would have to look at the budget and listen to the presentations from the Superintendent and CFO once I am seated on the Board to determine which areas deserve priority.”
Preparation of Candidate Information
In the April 7 election, three seats will be filled on the District 65 School Board and on the District 202 School Board.
Omar Brown, Jennifer Phillips and Richard Rykhus are seeking a seat on the District 65 Board. Adrian Dortch is seeking a seat on both the District 65 and 202 Boards. Larry Gavin prepared the profiles of these candidates.
In addition to Mr. Dortch, Jonathan Baum, Mark Metz, Monique Parsons and Anne Sills are seeking a position on the District 202 Board. Kelley Elwood prepared the profiles of these four candidates.
The profiles were compiled based primarily on each candidate’s answers to five of 13 questions contained in a PTA Council Questionnaire.
Each candidate’s complete answers to the questionnaire are available in the “Election” section of the RoundTable’s online site at www.evanstonroundtable.com, and also at the PTA Council’s website, http://ptacouncil.weebly.com/. Videos of candidate forums sponsored by the PTA Council, the Evanston League of Women Voters and ETHS Parents Engaged are also available on these sites.