ETHS Board members discussed the superintendent search Tuesday night.

With Eric Witherspoon about to retire, the District 202 Board of Education is asking the community what issues are critical for the next Evanston Township High School superintendent to address, and what qualities that person should bring to the job.

The Board discussed the next steps in the search process during its meeting Tuesday night.

A search firm has been hired. Part of the task is finding out what various constituent groups — parents, educators, students and others — would like to see in the person who will lead the 3,700-student and 600-employee high school.

An online survey is now available. Answers can be submitted until 5 p.m. Jan. 31.

Among the issues for respondents to consider are how well ETHS is doing in areas such as preparing students for college or non-college careers, pursuing educational equity and fostering emotional and physical well-being.

Potential leadership traits include the ability to motivate and inspire, and building strong partnerships with students, parents, staff and the community.

Perhaps the most thought-provoking question asks “Please complete this statement: ETHS will be successful if we accomplish these three things within the next 5 years (be as specific as possible.”

Unlike the other questions, which are “fill in the bubble,” this one requires written answers.

The next superintendent is expected to take office on July 1 — 16 years after Witherspoon started his career at ETHS.

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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