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Politics, as they say, is a rough business, but the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board is apparently willing to let bygones be bygones after the regional superintendent picked a candidate who was twice sidelined by tie votes to replace Bill Geiger, who resigned in May

Half the board and virtually all the citizens who spoke during public-comment time at board meetings, insisted on picking defeated candidate Anne Sills to fill the vacancy. They insisted that she had, in effect, paid her dues by running in the April election and coming in a close fourth for the three open seats.

The other half was just as insistent that being a candidate in the election was not enough to qualify someone for a seat on the board, particularly after 13 other persons, including a smattering of Ph.D.’s and a whole slew of MBA’s, suggested the possibility that the board could do better.

Deadlocked twice on the issue, the board turned the matter over to Regional School Superintendent Bruce Brown, who sided with the pro-Sills contingent when he issued his decision Monday, and the matter was officially settled.

The only real dissent came from some of the other 13 candidates who were miffed that they weren’t even contacted by the regional official for an interview.

Contacted by Evanston Now, none of the board members, nor the regional superintendent, apparently wanted to roil the waters by commenting on the selection.

So when the board holds its next meeting in August, it is likely that Sills will be welcomed with smiling faces and kind remarks as it once again turns its attention to issues concerning the education of the district’s high school students.

Related story:

Sills named to ETHS Board

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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5 Comments

  1. Did Bruce Brown interview anyone?

    I was expecting that we'd hear, maybe a week or so ago, the names of certain applicants who Bruce Brown decided to interview and that, after the interview process, he'd make his announcement. Were any interviews conducted and, if so, who was interviewed? 

    1. Good question
      It’s a question we have for Dr. Brown if and when he returns our phone calls. We have not found any of the 14 candidates who has been interviewed. The regional superintendent, however, is not required to interview anyone.

      1. Ah, the D202 plot thickens

        So 14 people applied for the D202 position to replace Bill Geiger, 3 members of the Board (Pat Savage Williams, Mark Metz, and Monique Parsons) wanted to completely ignore Board Policies and Procedures and just appoint Anne Sills. But 3 other board members (Doug Holt, Jonathan Baum, and Gretchen Livingston) wanted to follow stated board policies. 14 qualified people submitted their interest in serving on the D202 Board, but Pat Savage Williams, Mark Metz, and Monique Parsons would only consider Anne Sills – (reminder Pat didn't call another board meeting but was required to do so since Doug, Jonathan and Gretchen called it, and at that meeting Pat, Mark and Monique wouldn't even consider a discussion about the characteristics they desired in the future board member) 

        With the given stalemate it's known that the decision would be delegated to the Regional Superintendent, Bruce Brown (Dr. Eric Witherspoon sits on Bruce's governing board) and Bruce Brown doesn't talk or meet with any of the 14 candidates except for Anne Sills? And then he selects Anne Sills? How did this happen? Hmmmm

        As Ricky Ricardo says, "Lucy, you got some splainin to do!"

        Mr. Brown, "Who did you talk with" and "How did you make your decision?"

        ETHS is a public institution funded by all taxpayers,and we deserve an answer; full transparency and disclosure is important to build trust with taxpayers.

        There is a history of poor governance with public institutions in Illinois. We need to maintain the credibility and integrity of all public institutions in Evanston.

      2. While you”re at it

        Please ask the good Dr. exactly what his job is about, how much he is paid, how big is his staff, and how many more good Drs. does the state have.  Inquiring minds would like to know.

  2. D202 selection

    This process was a sham and a travesty. I was naive enough to think Mr. Brown would fairly evaluate the candidates without input from the current board members or the administration, but I don't believe that happened. Anne Sills is a lovely person and was an excellent caterer, and I have no doubt she is passionate about education, but she is in no way the most highly qualified candidate, not even close. Now it's starting to make sense why the three board members supporting her refused to cite any criteria for appointing another member, and why Mark Metz referred to this as "politics, a full-contact sport." I have to hand it to him for being politically successful, at the expense of honesty and transparency. I hope he's happy.

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