A total of 11 candidates filed to compete for a seat on either the Evanston/Skokie District 65 board or the Evanston Township High School District 202 board before the 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19 filing deadline.

A list of candidates in all school board elections across suburban Cook County is available on the County Clerk’s Office website. The election, which takes place in the spring, officially ends April 4.

The full District 65 school board poses for a photo after inducting Mya Wilkins as its newest member. Pictured, from left: Tracy Olasimbo, Joey Hailpern, Donna Wang Su, Mya Wilkins, Sergio Hernandez, Soo La Kim and Biz Lindsay-Ryan. Credit: Duncan Agnew

Five candidates – two incumbents and three challengers – are vying for three open spots on the District 65 board, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

  • Sergio Hernandez Jr., the current board president, was initially appointed to the board in 2017 and won a full term in 2019. He worked as a bilingual educator for more than a dozen years and also previously served as the director of family and community engagement for the Illinois State Board of Education. Interestingly enough, Hernandez initially filed his candidacy on Monday, Dec. 12, but he withdrew that application and refiled on Monday, Dec. 19.
  • Mya Wilkins was appointed to the board in October 2022 to replace the seat left vacant by the resignation of Anya Tanyavutti. She is the executive director of marketing research at JPMorgan Chase and holds a master’s in business administration from Northwestern University.
  • John Matthew Martin moved to Evanston in 2015 and has two children in District 65 elementary school, according to his campaign manager Terri Lydon. He works for a software company in Chicago and formerly was the commissioner of AYSO Evanston.
  • Ndona Muboyayi previously lost a campaign for District 65 school board in 2021. She is an independent financial and business consultant and an active member of the NAACP Evanston/North Shore chapter and the Congolese Community of Chicago.
  • Omar G. Salem is the professional issues director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a former teacher and coach at Niles North High School in Skokie. He is also a representative on the City of Evanston’s Equity and Empowerment Commission, and he has a daughter in kindergarten in District 65. In September, he applied for the seat left vacant by former board Vice President Marquise Weatherspoon, who stepped down in August.

Tracy Olasimbo, family engagement coordinator at Evanston Public Library, was appointed in September to replace Weatherspoon. Olasimbo’s seat is also up for election in April, but she did not file to run, according to county records.

In ETHS District 202, six candidates have filed – four incumbents and two rivals – for the four open seats. They are:

ETHS board Vice President and McGaw YMCA President Monique Parsons, right, with former Council Member Robin Rue Simmons. Credit: Heidi Randhava
  • Monique Parsons, who is the current board vice president and the McGaw YMCA president and Chief Executive Officer. Parsons is a native Evanstonian and was first elected to the ETHS board in 2015. She recently received a community service award at the annual Chessmen Club gala.
  • Elizabeth Rolewicz is completing her first term on the board after being elected in 2019. She is a self-employed photographer and graphic designer and has previously volunteered with the District 65 PTA Equity Project and the mutual aid Facebook group Back On Their Feet.
  • Stephanie Teterycz is also wrapping up her first term on the board. She is director of operations for the Stoddart Research Group in Northwestern’s chemistry department and founder of Making Evanston Equitable Together.
  • Mirah Anti was appointed to the board in 2021 and is seeking her first full term in April’s election. She is the director of equity and inclusion for Township High School District 113, which is headquartered in Highland Park, and she also has previous experience as a classroom teacher in the same district.
  • Kristen Scotti recently completed a doctorate in materials science and engineering at Northwestern. She is an ETHS parent and has spoken at board meetings in favor of changes to the district’s attendance policy that would provide more flexibility and resources for students with disabilities.
  • Leah Piekarz spent more than two decades as a counselor at ETHS before retiring this past summer. She now reviews applications for the University of Illinois and has master’s degrees in both school counseling and curriculum and instruction.

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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