To the surprise of absolutely no one, Evanston Township High School principal Marcus Campbell was named the next ETHS superintendent by the District 202 Board of Education on Thursday night.
Campbell was the only candidate, one who was enthusiastically endorsed by board members, community representatives, and by the man he is replacing, Eric Witherspoon.
Witherspoon, who is retiring after 16 years on the job, said “I can honestly say that tonight, knowing that Marcus Campbell will succed me as superintendent is a dream come true.”
Campbell began as an ETHS English teacher 19 years ago, and rose through the administrative ranks to become principal for the last nine years, and now, superintendent.
Campbell said he was “humbled to be seen, recognized and affirmed in such a way.”
The Chicago native has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, and graduate degrees from DePaul and National Louis Universities.
Campbell thanked family and friends, and reflected on his late parents, whose “spirit continues to reside” in his heart.
Campbell was not only interviewed by the board, but was also vetted by panels of parents, teachers, and students.
Board president Pat Savage-Williams said “the support for Dr. Campbell was compellingly positive.”
Vice president Monique Parsons said “we’re hiring you, but your path was chosen a long time ago.”
Other phrases heard from the board were “the most qualified,” and “the absolute best hire.”
And Witherspoon added that “I recognized a future superintendent when he was in his 20s.”
During his board interviews, Campbell said he saw the district being led by a “team of eight,” the seven board members and the superintendent.
So each board member wore a “Team of 8” t-shirt, and presented one to Campbell.
Campbell was praised for his talents, his committment to equity, and his desire to help all students achieve their maximum potential.
One of the speakers was the Rev. Kenneth Eugene Cherry.
Pastor Cherry said he is Campbell’s cousin, and the middle name, Eugene, is after Campbell’s father.
“The ancestors are smiling,” Cherry said.
Campbell becomes superintendent on July 1.