The Evanston Township High School board Monday unanimously approved a 4 percent pay raise for Superintendent Eric Witherspoon.

In an evaluation of Witherspoon’s performance the board said it is pleased to recognize his strong performance.

ETHS posted the highest ACT scores in the history of the school, last year, the board said, achieving rankings in the top 3 percent of all high schools in the nation.

It also has had the highest number of students ever successfully complete advanced placement courses, the board said, “while focusing on equity and success for all students.”

Witherspoon has been a school superintendent for the past quarter century, with the last eight years spent at ETHS.

“I greatly appreciate the support and leadership of our school board,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “As a result of lots of teamwork in our district, we have had another great year at ETHS where we have again achieved a balanced budget during challenging economic times.”

The superintendent also noted that the district has earned the highest possible Aaa bond rating.

In the past year the school has also developed new STEM science labs, a state-of-the-art student success center and a welcome center for parents/guardians.

The school, he said, has also “implemented freshman advisory study halls, planned carefully for 1:1 computing for all incoming freshmen and even built a house as part of the geometry in construction course.”

Board President Gretchen Livingston said Witherspoon’s “positive outlook is backed by solid results and has led to an improved climate in the halls at ETHS.”

Last December, the board extended Witherspoon’s contract by two years—to June 30, 2017—without changing his compensation of $255,248. The 4 percent raise would presumably raise his base salary another $10,000, plus benefits. This compares with the $250,000 salary base of newly hired District 65 superintendent Paul Goren.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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