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Two incumbents and two newcomers were elected to the District 65 School Board to serve four-year terms in the April 4 election: Candance Chow (incumbent) with 11,226 votes; Lindsay Cohen with 11,042 votes, Joseph Hailpern with 9,710 votes, and Suni Kartha (incumbent) with 9,572 votes. Nicholas Korzeniowski missed out with 8,128 votes.
A third incumbent, Anya Tanyavutti, was elected to a two-year term with 13,897 votes. Ms. Tanyavutti ran unopposed.
The winners are expected to be sworn in at a special Board meeting on May 1, at which time they will join Omar Brown and Sergio Fernandez to form the seven-member Board.
Ms. Chow is currently President of the District 65 School Board, was the Board liaison in developing the District’s five-year strategic plan, and has served as Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee. Her priorities for the next four years are ensuring academic success for all students through a whole-child focus, and achieving financial stability and accountability for equitable outcomes. Ms. Chow holds an M.B.A. and is a consultant to non-profit organizations.
Ms. Cohen holds an M.B.A., has started and sold two businesses, and is operating a third start-up business with friends. During the campaign, she stressed that she wants to help ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the District and ensure that the District’s tax dollars are being spent wisely. She said she wants to help to set each child for success in this rapidly changing world.
Mr. Hailpern is a principal of a school in the North Shore. He said his goals include increasing equity and access, particularly for groups that have a history of being marginalized in society. He says he is committed to the Evanston tradition of providing an engaging and welcoming school environment for all children, including children with disabilities or learning differences.
Ms. Kartha, a lawyer, is Chair of the District’s Policy Committee. She says the District is on a path to address systemic inequities in the schools, focusing on the development of the well-being of the whole child and ensuring that the schools are safe and supportive space for students, their families and staff. “It’s my priority to ensure that we continue that journey in a robust and meaningful way,” she said.
Ms. Tanyavutti has 15 years experience as a teacher and head of a non-profit community school program in Chicago. Her priorities are maintaining high academic standards and rigor for students, working to build fiscal stability and sustainability, and working to ensure a culture and climate of inclusivity.