Dr. Bruce Brown, executive director of North Cook Intermediate Service Center, has chosen the newest member of the District 202 School Board: Anne Sills. The news was announced in a written statement by District 202 School Board President Pat Savage-Williams on July 28.
Under the School Code, the chief administrative officer of an educational service region is designated as the regional superintendent.
“On behalf of the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education, I am happy to announce that the North Suburban Cook County Regional Superintendent, Dr. Bruce Brown, has completed his process for determining the person who will replace Bill Geiger on the Evanston Township High School Board,” says the statement in which Ms. Savage-Williams announced the appointment of Ms. Sills. “The term will end in the spring of 2017, at which time [Ms. Sills] will have the option to run for an additional 4-year term.”
Prior to this announcement, School Board members twice discussed how to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Mr. Geiger, but they remained at an impasse. The six members were unable to agree on the process of filling the empty seat or who should fill it.
As is laid out in current Board policy, applications were taken from the public and 14 candidates applied. Board members butted heads, however, on whether the application process established by the Board’s policy was appropriate. Some Board members said that an election had taken place less than three months before the vacancy was created, and they said the next highest vote-getter in that election – who was Anne Sills – should be given the open position. Other members of the Board said they thought the Board’s policy should stand and the Board should consider all the applicants. The School Code provides that when a school board is unable to select a replacement, the decision is referred to the Regional Superintendent.
The April election was not held to fill Mr. Geiger’s seat, but three other positions on the Board were filled.
At the time this paper went to press, Dr. Brown had not responded to messages from the RoundTable requesting information on the criteria he used, the process he followed or who he interviewed or talked to in making his decision.
Dr. Brown previously told the RoundTable that he had received the 14 applications and that he intended to follow the same process he would for “any other district”: start with a “paper screen,” review information on each candidate; conduct interviews with select candidates; and finally select the person with “the experience, expertise and dedication to serve the Board well.”
Ms. Sills told the RoundTable that Dr. Brown did interview her by phone. “The appointment process was a long one and I am happy that the District 202 School Board can now begin its work with a full complement of members. I intend to serve with all of my heart and soul, to work with my colleagues, and to join them in governing wisely to ensure that all our children have the academic opportunity and support which is our responsibility to provide. There will be challenges ahead and I believe that we can celebrate our successes and be a part of finding solution. I look forward to our first board meeting.”
The next School Board meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Aug. 10. The meeting agenda is not yet posted.