Five alumni of Evanston Township High School received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award at an induction ceremony on Dec. 5. Steven Gilford (1970), Tanika Island-Childress (1991), Gregory Klaiber (1978), Megan Twohey (1994), and Lynne Williams Twist (1963) were honored during the recognition program sponsored by the ETHS District 202 Board of Education and the ETHS Alumni Association.
This year’s honorees shared advice and answered questions from the senior Class of 2017 before visiting ETHS classrooms throughout the day.
Ms. Twist, the bestselling author of “The Soul of Money,” is recognized as a global visionary, raising hundreds of millions of dollars to address poverty and hunger and to support social justice and environmental sustainability. Her deepening understanding of the world’s social tapestry is credited to her efforts that include working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, serving in the refugee camps in Ethiopia, and helping preserve the threatened rainforests of the Amazon.
Mr. Gilford is the head of office and senior partner in the Litigation Dispute Resolution Department in the Chicago office of Proskaurer Rose, a leading global law firm. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education, was a 12-year member and two-term president of the ETHS District 202 School Board, and has been involved in the leadership of many Chicago and Evanston area not-for-profit organizations including Metropolitan Family Services. Mr. Gilford has been part of life-changing legal representation for marginalized groups like prisoners, the mentally ill, and transgender individuals.
Mr. Klaiber is the Director of Emergency Management for Northwestern University. Formerly the Chief of the Evanston Fire Department, he served the Evanston community over his 30-plus-year career with the department. He was an executive board member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and an Executive Board member of the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy. An active community volunteer, Mr. Klaiber has served as a member of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board, trustee with the Evanston Fourth of July Association, and a coach and leader with the Evanston Speed Skating and Youth Baseball programs.
Ms. Island-Childress is the Chief Academic Officer of the University of Chicago Charter School and the Program and Managing Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. She has had a profound impact on the development and training of new teachers in her current role. Ms. Island-Childress began her career as a classroom teacher in Evanston and after shifting to the University of Chicago Charter School, she became a teacher leader/coach and pioneered efforts to upgrade expectations for all of her students. Spending her life as an educator in Evanston and Chicago, she has been recognized as a leader in schools and in her community.
Ms. Twohey is an award-winning journalist who works as a staff writer for the New York Times. Her 2013 investigative series, “The Child Exchange,” uncovered an underground network where parents gave away their adopted children through an illicit practice known as private re-homing. As a reporter on the 2016 presidential election team, Ms. Twohey co-wrote two widely read political stories for the Times, one about Donald Trump’s treatment of women, the other showing how Mr. Trump allegedly avoided paying taxes for up to 18 years.