Reviewing budgets. Hearing from sometimes angry parents. And making decisions which impact nearly 4,000 students.
All for no pay.
But the four candidates for four-year terms on the Evanston Township/District 202 Board of Education all want to win in April’s election.
But only three of them will. Four candidates. Three slots.
On Monday evening at ETHS, several current board members, along with Superintendent Marcus Campbell, Principal Taya Kinzie, and other administrators went over what, and who the election winners will have to know. Instruction. Finance. Climate and Culture. Human Resources. Communication. Directors of those departments all addressed the candidates.
Ironically, two of the contenders, Monique Parsons and Elizabeth Rolewicz, are incumbents, and so have worked with the other board members and administrators. Parsons, the board’s vice-president is seeking her third term, Rolewicz her second.
Non-incumbent Leah Piekarz is a retired ETHS guidance counselor, so she’s familiar with the structure and the people.
The other non-incumbent, Kristin Scotti, holds a Ph.D, and has addressed the board previously on the impact of attendance policies on students with disabilities.
Current board member Stephanie Teterycz had filed to run for re-election, but then withdrew “due to other demands” on her time this spring.
There is one more candidate, another incumbent, Mirah Anti. Anti is running for a two-year term, to finish out the vacancy she was appointed to fill in 2021. Anti is running as a write-in, but because she is the only valid write-in whose name can count, and there are no opponents for the two-year slot, Anti is guaranteed to win.
Superintendent Campbell, who was named to that position by the current board, said that the administration-board relationship is generally “non-adversarial,” as they deal with issues of academic achievement, equity, student well-being, and community partnerships.
Pat Savage-Williams, the board president, has been on the Board of Education for ten years.
She says it’s not unusual to spend around 40 hours a month on board business, ranging from document reviews to lengthy meetings.
But she says it’s worth the time.
“I’m trying desperately, along with my colleagues, to make a better world for our students.”
After the April 4 election, at least one of those colleagues, or perhaps two, will be new.
Early in-person voting runs from March 20-April 3 at the Civic Center.
Mail-in voting is also possible. Ballots for those who have signed up will be going out soon.
Savage-Williams, Gretchen Livingston, and Pat Maunsell were all re-elected in 2021. Their terms on the seven-person board are not up until 2025.