By Kelley Elwood

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the District 202 School Board unanimously voted to extend Superintendent Eric Witherspoon’s employment contract until June 30, 2020. No other changes were made to the current contract, which was set to expire in 2017.

“Thank you. I am probably the happiest person in Evanston right now and I know I have the best job,” said Dr. Witherspoon. “I love our students, I love the adults in the ETHS family that I get to work with and I have the deepest admiration for all of you. I am so thankful to be part of this community.”

“Your leadership has been incredibly impressive,” said Board President Pat Savage-Williams. “You are able to keep all 3,322 students in your heart at the same time. I don’t know how you do that, but I am so glad you do.

“I see you working tremendously hard to change the culture in this community and you have. We talk about the highlights. We have the highest composite ACT scores ever. We have a 90% graduation rate. I could go on and on. You really take equity and try to make it real. I am grateful and so excited that we have been able to unanimously vote to extend your contract. So I just want to say thank you.”

“I’m happy you’re happy and willing to keep moving us forward,” said Board member Monique Parsons. She also commended Dr. Witherspoon for “not turning away from the challenges we face.”

Other Board members expressed similar comments.

Student Board Representative Camille Allen ended the comments and the meeting by saying, “I generally try to speak for myself, but I think I can speak for most if not all of the students that it’s not an understatement to say we love you. We see you in the hallways smiling and waving. We see you in the cafeteria and we appreciate that. We feel supported and listened to and loved. It wouldn’t be ETHS without you.”