ETHS School Board President Pat Savage-Williams speaks at the May 9 board meeting. Credit: ETHS District 202 YouTube

Evanston Township High School District 202 board members unanimously re-elected President Pat Savage-Williams and Vice President Monique Parsons to the same positions for the next year at Monday night’s board meeting.

Savage-Williams has now served as the board president for seven consecutive years, since May 2015, and this next term will take her through eight years as president.

At the end of Monday’s meeting the board approved the new superintendent’s contract for current Principal and Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell, who will succeed Eric Witherspoon effective July 1, 2022. Campbell has worked at ETHS since 2001.

“Monumental,” Savage-Williams commented with a smile after the board made Campbell’s superintendent contract official.

Monday night also marked the end of a yearlong tenure on the board for student representative and current ETHS junior Barbara Tomaradze, and the board also officially approved the appointment of the next student representative Nicole Yao, who won an election among ETHS students to represent them on the board for the next year. 

In November, Tomaradze criticized ETHS leadership for allegedly failing to properly handle student allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against a former color guard coach, who was charged with child seduction in September in connection with allegations he inappropriately touched a 16-year-old student at a high school in northwest Indiana, where he also worked in recent years. ETHS employed the man as a part-time coach from 2017 to 2020.

“I particularly appreciated your calling out of toxic masculinity as an issue still at this high school, in the same vein that some of your predecessors have called it out,” board member Gretchen Livingston said. “And you also called out allegations of sexual, gender harassment, which are tough issues and related to that topic of toxic masculinity. I appreciated hearing that from you in a persistent way.”

Unlike many previous student representatives, Tomaradze is only a junior, so she will still be around in the coming school year to help Yao transition into the role.

“I never knew there was a group of people consistently working to improve ETHS, and I admire that so much,” Tomaradze said. “And I’m so grateful for the school, even more than I was before, because being here has opened my eyes to a whole new level of adults caring about us. You guys are the reason we succeed. High school is so important, and I just want to thank you all for that.”

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...

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