Who is the next D202 superintendent? Inside Marcus Campbell’s 21 years at ETHS


Courtesy of Evanston Township High School

Marcus Campbell will be Evanston Township High School/District 202’s next superintendent. He has worked in the school since 2001.

Olivia Alexander, In Focus Editor

Marcus Campbell first arrived at Evanston Township High School/District 202 as an English teacher in September 2001. More than 20 years later, he’s set to become the district’s next superintendent this July. 

“I’m just thrilled and grateful and honored that the board feels confident to move in this direction,” Campbell said. “I’ve been here a long time, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity.” 

Going into his tenure as superintendent, Campbell said he’s contemplating how best to move forward after what he referred to as difficult years for the district. He said ETHS students and staff need a sense of reassurance and a sense of family, which he hopes to provide. 

Campbell acknowledged the challenges of working through the pandemic. He said every decision became significantly more demanding than it would have been before. 

“We did our best, and now we have to continue to pick up the pieces,” Campbell said. “Academically, relationally, emotionally — we have to put ourselves back together.” 

Campbell completed his tenure as an English teacher in 2011, when current Superintendent Eric Witherspoon promoted him to the position of director for student supports and racial equity. Since March 2013, he’s been District 202’s assistant superintendent in addition to serving as ETHS’ principal. 

Campbell was still an English teacher when Witherspoon first joined the school in 2006. Early on, Witherspoon said he saw Campbell’s leadership, talent and intellect, and he was excited to move Campbell into higher level administrative positions. Witherspoon said Campbell is “hugely qualified and prepared” to be the next superintendent.

“He is a renowned equity leader. He’s a renowned educational leader,” Witherspoon said. “He is the kind of person who has gained the confidence and respect of everybody in this school.” 

Witherspoon said he doesn’t expect Campbell to rely much on his advice. Instead, he sees his successor as a visionary, courageous leader who will continue improving the school and taking it “to the next level.” 

“When I came in, that was my hope,” Witherspoon said. “I knew (ETHS) was a great school, but I wanted to take it from where it was to the next level and see it soar into more greatness. I absolutely know that’s what Dr. Marcus Campbell is capable of and can make happen for ETHS.” 

District 202 Board of Education President Pat Savage-Williams echoed these sentiments, saying Campbell undoubtedly has a large amount of institutional knowledge about the school. 

Savage-Williams said she’s been impressed by Campbell’s leadership, specifically when it comes to furthering the district’s commitment to equity — a priority he and Witherspoon have long shared.  

“They work as a solid team. They all work well together. They support each other. They don’t always agree,” Savage-Williams said about Witherspoon and Campbell. “That’s always important — when folks have the integrity to speak the truth.” 

Olivia Levitas (ETHS `20) said as a student, she always looked up to Campbell. Before the pandemic, Levitas said she often saw Campbell in the halls talking with students. In these interactions, she said Campbell treated every student as his equal. 

During school closures at the start of the pandemic, Levitas said some educators brushed students off and stopped communicating, while Campbell did not. She said she could tell Campbell always cared deeply about ETHS students. 

When she heard Campbell was to become the district’s next superintendent, Levitas said she wasn’t surprised. 

“He worked a lot with Dr. Witherspoon. He knows why he is such a loved superintendent and what great work that he could do,” Levitas said. “Because of that, I believe he will also be able to carry on that legacy.”

Ilana Arougheti contributed reporting. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oliviagalex

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