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Eric Witherspoon.

Evanston Township High School is giving parents, teachers, students and community members more time to say what they’d like to see in a new school superintendent.

The deadline to fill out an online survey has been extended until Feb. 17, from the end of January.

The new leader will replace Eric Witherspoon, who is retiring at the end of the current school year following 16 years in office.

While some 1,800 responses have already come in, school board Vice President Monique Parsons says, “We believe there are more voices out there.”

Questions on the survey include the importance of various leadership skills, as well as dealing with issues such as student preparation for college or career, educational equity, and emotional and physical well-being for the 3,700 students at ETHS.

In addition to the survey, there will be a virtual community gathering on Feb. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., as well as focus groups for various constituents.

“I especially want to hear from the students,” said board Member Pat Maunsell during Monday night’s school board meeting. “The students always have amazingly powerful things to say,” she noted.

The new superintendent is supposed to be on board by July 1.

“As a school board, this is our only hire,” said board President Pat Savage-Williams. “This is big for us.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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