On Oct. 28, in a closed session meeting, representatives of BWP & Associates presented a report to the District 65 School Board advising that 31 people had completed an application for Superintendent of School District 65. BWP recommended five of the 31 people for the School Board to interview.

The BWP team leading the search process consists of Debra A. Hill, Mark Friedman, and Anne Noland, each of whom holds a doctorate degree and previously served as a superintendent. Their report said they used the Superintendent Profile developed with community input in selecting the candidates they recommended.

In a Nov. 6 letter to District 65 staff and families, Board President Suni Kartha said, “The slate represents a diverse selection of high-quality candidates from around the country, and the Board is looking forward to talking with each of them.”

The Board interviewed candidates on Nov. 12 and 13 and is scheduled to complete the interviews on Nov. 14, all in closed session meetings.

“Our intention is to narrow the pool to two or three final candidates and that the Board will conduct second round interviews during the first week of December,” said Ms. Kartha, adding, “ The Board remains committed to a transparent process that is inclusive of community voice. We are thoughtfully considering opportunities to obtain additional input while respecting the confidentiality requested by the candidates in order to remain in our search process.”

Ms. Kartha’s letter does not state whether the Board will disclose the names of the final two or three candidates to the community and whether members of the community will be able to meet with the candidates at the time they visit Evanston for a second set of interviews in the first week of December. The process discussed by the Board on July 18 contemplated that at least some members of the community would have an opportunity to meet with the candidates in focus groups and in a community-wide meeting and provide input to the Board. 

Ms. Kartha’s letter states, “The Board anticipates announcing our new Superintendent in January. We look forward to sharing an update with our community in the coming weeks.”

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...