Candance Chow, president of the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board, and Russell Kohnken, running for his first term on the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board, will be the first names listed on the ballot for their respective positions in the April 4 school board elections.

Each earned the coveted top-of-the-ballot position by virtue of being in line at a Cook County Clerk filing office at 8 a.m. on Dec. 12, which was the first day of filing their petitions to qualify as candidates.

You won’t find this in the ninth grade civics textbooks, but when several candidates are on the ballot for a relatively low-profile elective office, many voters just click off their votes from the top of the list.

In each district, the top four vote-getters will win four-year terms on the two boards. In the case of District 65, seven persons are vieing for four positions, and in District 202, six candidates are in the running for that district’s four positions.

Because there were four candidates for each district standing in line at the time filing began, the clerk’s office conducted the lottery Wednesday morning to determine their order on the ballot.

In the order that they will appear on the ballot, the District 65 candidates are Chow, Nicholas Korzeniowski, Lindsay M. Cohen, Sunith Kartha, Sergio Hernandez, Jr., Scott D. Fishman, and Joseph A. Hailpern. Chow and Kartha are incumbents.

The District 202 candidates will appear in this order:  Kohnken, Board President Patricia Savage-Williams, Gretchen Livingston, Patricia Maunsell, Jude E. Laude, and Anne M. Sills. Savage-Williams, Livingston, and Sills are incumbents.

An additional position on the District 65 Board is one with a two-year term, representing the last two years of a four-year term vacated by Jennifer Phillips, who resigned in the first two years of her term.

Her position was taken by Anya Tanyavutti, who was elected to fill the vacancy by the remaining six  board members. Because she was the only candidate who qualified for that two-year term, she is assured of victory.

Voters at the April 4 election will not only choose new school board members, but they will also choose a new mayor for Evanston and aldermen who represent each of the city’s nine wards.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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