ETHS school board choose leaders for next year

Paul Thissen and Paul Thissen

Evanston Township High School’s school board granted tenure status to 25 teachers, approved funding for teachers to work on curriculum and school improvement during the summer, and elected the new board president and vice president at its Monday meeting.

The board’s new leaders will hold their positions for one year. Former vice president Steve Gilford was elected president, replacing Margaret Lurie, and Mary Wilkerson was elected vice president. Gilford and Wilkerson, who were the only members nominationed for their respective positions, were elected unanimously.

Earlier in the meeting, after the Evanston/Skokie District 202 school board officially voted to grant the teachers tenure status, Superintendent Allan Alson congratulated what he described as an unusually large group of teachers for attaining tenure status. Full-time teachers usually attain tenure after four years.

“We think and know the work you’ve done has enhanced the quality of this fine institution,” Alson said.

The board also approved the ETHS administration’s proposal for summer programs to alter and improve instruction and school services.

The proposals included programs to revamp the curriculum of some classes, institute common assessment tests for other classes and administer new test preparation programs. Normally, the creation of new classes would be included in this proposal, but no new classes are being added this year.

The meeting included the legally required public hearing about a $1.4 million bond issue that was approved by the board at its March 22 meeting.

The money would bring the school into compliance with state fire safety requirements. Nobody from the public presented any written or oral comments about the bond issue.

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day April 18, the board designated April 20-23 as days of remembrance for Holocaust victims.

Board members also lauded a presentation last month at ETHS by one of the first black students involved in the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

“Any time I see anything historical about the hate she experienced, it’s hard for me to believe,” board member Martha Burns said.

Gilford connected the presentation to the school’s continuing efforts at improving minority student achievement.

“We torture ourselves daily trying to move forward at a rapid rate,” he said. “I think sometimes we focus so much on how far we have to go, we forget how far we’ve come.”