District 202 Board of Education gives orientation to candidates as the April elections approach


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Evanston Township High School hosted an orientation for school board candidates Monday.

Aria Wozniak, Senior Staffer

Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education members shared the importance and responsibilities of their jobs at the School Board Candidate Orientation meeting Monday night.

As the April 4 school board elections approach, board members explained the logistics and commitments of their positions to candidates.

Superintendent Marcus Campbell said it is one of the “best boards in town” and that he finds the level of integrity at which the members serve admirable.  

“The relationship that we currently have with the board is non-adversarial,” Campbell said. “Our board asks great critical questions of our administrative team which we are always happy to answer and happy to be pushed.”

Assistant Superintendent and Principal Taya Kinzie said District 202 dedicated this school year to “healing the solidarity” within the community and lifting student voices. 

She said she is working to support students through multitiered systems of support and through the implementation of restorative efforts. 

“Change is slow and implementation takes its time,” Kinzie said. “We want to do it right and we’re persisting with that.” 

Kinzie mentioned the Department of Special Education is continuing to center its priorities on “eradicating the predictability of race and disproportionality within special education.”

Board member Patricia Maunsell emphasized the board functions to help with policy and governance — not to run the school. 

She said people often do not understand the level of importance that organization and confidentiality play in the board’s role in providing support and supervision to the district.

“Confidence is a high priority for us,” Maunsell said. “We think very deeply and seriously about anything that’s brought to us.”

Director of Communications Takumi Iseda said she agreed with Maunsell on the importance of private matters being kept confidential but clarified that the district keeps the broader community informed through newsletters, emails, texts and phone calls. 

To facilitate transparency with the public, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Peter Bavis said he is orchestrating data sharing agreements between Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Oakton College and Northwestern.

Bavis is also the chair for a group of around 20 teachers who work to address racial predictability and academic outcomes. He also said he is growing the Early College Program through Advanced Placement, dual credit and work-based learning opportunities in partnership with the mayor’s Advisory Council.

Kendra Williams, who serves as the chief financial officer while additionally working in nutrition services and building operations for the district, said District 202 tries to be open with information about its audit, annual comprehensive finances, annual statement of affairs and budget. 

“We’re diligent about making sure that we’re transparent, so all reports can be found online and we’ve received several awards for our reporting and excellence,” Williams said. “We (also) have a AAA bond rating, because of our strong financial stewardship.”

Scott Bramley, assistant superintendent for human resources, works on the adaptive side to support the wellbeing of faculty and staff. On the protective side, he looks to policies and procedures that can be implemented starting at the board level to keep the district safe. He said he is continuing to work on racial equity by “actively recruiting and retaining licensed staff and leaders of color.”

Vice President Monique Parsons, who is running for re-election this April, said “racial gaps” as well as mental wellness are issues she is hoping to keep improving.

“COVID made everything more pressing,” Parsons told The Daily. “I have a priority to support students because they should get the best Evanston Township High School has to offer.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @ari_wozz

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