Liz Rolewicz, D202 board incumbent, talks racial equity and student mental health


Seeger Gray/Daily Senior Staffer

Liz Rolewicz. Rolewicz is running for reelection to the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education.

Paul O’Connor, Reporter

Since she moved to Evanston a decade ago, Liz Rolewicz has been deeply engaged in local politics and community-building.

We moved to Evanston because we wanted to be part of a smaller community where people know each other, and they’re very engaged in the community,” Rolewicz said.  

A parent herself, Rolewicz has been a member of the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education since 2019. She’s now running for her second term on a platform of racial equity, strengthening community partnerships, career readiness and more. 

In addition to serving on the Board, Rolewicz is the communication chair of the PTA Equity Project, an Evanston/Skokie School District 65 program that works to distribute PTA funds equitably across all the district’s schools. 

The program first began in 2016 to address funding disparities within the school system.

“We had a very inequitable balance of schools that could fundraise very high amounts of money, and schools that were not able to fundraise hardly at all,” Rolewicz said. “It was affecting the student experience.”

Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan, a co-founder of PEP and a current District 65 Board of Education member, said the project was largely unprecedented nationwide.

She added that Rolewicz’s participation was critical in getting the project off the ground in its early days.

“Her experiences in a school that had less resources really was an important perspective,” Lindsay-Ryan said. “We weren’t trying to do philanthropy. We weren’t trying to just raise money from wealthy schools. We were trying to create a just system.” 

Rolewicz also volunteered with Back On Their Feet, a community mutual-aid group on Facebook that has provided furniture and supplies to residents in need. 

Stephanie Teterycz, a current District 202 Board of Education member, said she and Rolewicz faced difficult circumstances in their first term because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But she said they were still able to improve technology access and provide meals for the community. 

She’s deeply, deeply committed to equity,” Teterycz said. “That’s where we’ve been putting our efforts and our focus.”

Rolewicz said equity would remain her top priority if she were to be reelected. She also hopes to continue District 202’s partnerships with District 65 and community organizations like Evanston Cradle to Career to better prepare students for high school.

Another of Rolewicz’s priorities is student mental health. 

“Truthfully, the kids have not bounced back completely to pre-pandemic times. They’re still recovering from the pandemic,” she said. “That’s something we’re going to continue focusing on.”

Talking about school safety, Rolewicz said she hopes the school explores new technologies before considering metal detectors.

In the past year, ETHS has faced multiple gun scares, including incidents where a student posted a threatening message on social media and where a student brought a loaded gun to school. 

“I feel like it’s not really a black-and-white issue,” she said. “There’s a lot more nuance to safety overall. There’s a lot of different ways to address safety, and there’s a lot of new technologies to address safety.” 

Looking forward to the elections, Rolewicz said she’s in the position of board member to represent every student in the district.

“I think Evanston is a very engaged, community-minded town. And I think people here value diversity, whether it’s racial or economic,” Rolewicz said. “I think they care enough to want to see our kids have an equitable school experience.”

Clarification: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect that Liz Rolewicz does not support placing metal detectors in ETHS and would rather look into other school safety solutions.

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