District 202 elects new school board for the 2021-22 academic year


Illustration by Cynthia Zhang

Board members Pat Savage-Williams, Monique Parsons, Pete Bavis and Mary Rodino were re-elected to their respective board positions in unanimous votes.

Wendy Klunk, Reporter

The Evanston Township High School/District 202 Board of Education recognized a retiring board member and swore in the new board for the 2021-2022 school year on Monday in their first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic.

Jude Laude, a member of the board since 2017, is retiring but plans to continue youth advocacy efforts in Evanston as director of programs at Youth Job Center.

Laude thanked the Evanston community and his colleagues and reflected on his time on the board.

“I grew up here as a first generation Haitian,” Laude said. “(My father) would sit at the kitchen table and say, ‘I’m not leaving you any money, but I’m gonna leave you my name,’ and one of the greatest honors for me in my life was when I ran for the board and I saw his name all over this town.”

D202 Board President Pat Savage-Williams described Laude as “compassionate, selfless, strong, courageous, (and) determined.”

She also applauded Laude for his willingness to engage in tough conversations and shed light on the impact of race in the education system.

“You’ve always brought your full self to our meetings,” Savage-Williams said to Laude. “You’ve worked tirelessly to give a voice to all of our students at our school, especially those voices that we don’t hear. You’ve been a supportive ally and co-conspirator of the equity goals and initiatives at our school and our community.”

Savage-Williams said the board is currently seeking applicants to fill the board vacancy. Applications are due June 1 and the board plans to select a new member on or before June 28. She said more information on the application process will be posted on the district website Tuesday morning.

Barbara Tomaradze was sworn in as the school board’s student representative, replacing ETHS senior Carmiya Bady. Board members congratulated and thanked Bady for her hard work, especially amidst the challenges of a senior year during a pandemic.

“You brought a fresh honest perspective, and used your own words,” said board member Gretchen Livingston. “Your wisdom and your maturity was much appreciated.”

Pat Savage-Williams, Monique Parsons, Pete Bavis and Mary Rodino were unanimously re-elected to their respective board officer positions.

This article has been updated to clarify the positions to which officials were re-elected.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @WKlunk

Related Stories: 
ETHS administrators address questions about 2021-22 academic year in webinar
In Focus: As District 65 rolls out hybrid learning, community members remain conflicted about implications of return