At their meeting Monday night, Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board members unanimously voted to appoint Tracy Olasimbo, the family engagement coordinator at Evanston Public Library, to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of former board Vice President Marquise Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon resigned Aug. 8, and Olasimbo applied for the position along with 12 other community members. She will take Weatherspoon’s seat, effective immediately, until the April 2023 board elections. In her application, Olasimbo wrote that she would run to retain the same job.
According to her resume and application, which the RoundTable obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request with the district, Olasimbo is also a licensed substitute teacher with the Illinois State Board of Education and an equity consultant with YWCA Evanston and the Anti-Defamation League. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has served as the PTA co-president at Washington Elementary School and an executive committee member with the African American, Black and Caribbean Family Group.
Olasimbo grew up in Evanston and attended District 65 schools. In her application for the school board, she said she primarily wants to address opportunity gaps for Black and Brown special education students and what she sees as “lack of teacher/educator accountability” for perpetuating racial harm against students of color.
The school board “must address the blatant and subconscious racism that our students and families have to deal with on a constant basis,” she wrote.
“I will be operating from an antiracist and equity lens when engaging the community and with decision making,” Olasimbo said in the application. “As a board member, we should make sure we are publicly supporting each other and the superintendent while also holding each other accountable to make sure the students are the first priority and we all continue to grow in our journey of antiracism.”