Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board welcomes Donna Wang Su during reorganization meeting

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Daily file photo by Patrick Svitek

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Education Center, at 1500 McDaniel Ave.

Olivia Alexander, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board members swore in newcomer Donna Wang Su and reelected members Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan, Joey Hailpern and Soo La Kim at Monday’s board meeting.

Outgoing board member Suni Kartha (Weinberg ’97), who did not seek reelection, said she was proud of the board’s work over the last eight years. Over the years, Kartha said the board has made policy changes and addressed curricular refinements and investment in early childhood education, with more recent accomplishments including safely educating students during the pandemic.

The former D65 board president also said there is more work to be done in the district, especially around dismantling policies that perpetuate anti-Black institutional racism.

“I am confident in the abilities and expertise of this group to navigate these waters thoughtfully,” Kartha said. “I am excited for what is still ahead for our district.”

The Monday meeting came hours after District 65 announced board member Rebeca Mendoza was resigning. Mendoza submitted her resignation on April 28.

Board members praised her four years of service as a board member.

“I just want to acknowledge that she has done some incredible work in the four years that she was here,” board member Sergio Hernandez said. “She’s been a true warrior for all kids and all families in this community.”

Board president Anya Tanyavutti invited community members to apply for the board position before May 21 at 4 p.m. to fill the vacancy by the last board meeting of the year on June 14.

As the board reconvened, Tanyavutti and Lindsay-Ryan were unanimously approved as the board’s president and vice president and Adeela Qureshi as secretary. All three will serve in these roles until the next reorganization meeting in 2022.

Tanyavutti said her fellow board members are “talented, ethical, creative and brave policymakers.” She expressed gratitude for being able to serve together and said the board must continue to work to make racial equity a reality.

“Outcomes and experiences in Evanston/Skokie (School) District 65 should not be predictable by race,” Tanyavutti said. “It will be the work of this board to lead in such a way, to build an inclusive and equitable institution, to live to the highest ideals of this community for all of our children — including and especially the most vulnerable.”

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