The Daily Explains: Who’s running for D65 and D202 Board of Education in 2023?


Illustration by Emily Lichty

Evanston residents can vote for Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education members in the April 4 election.

Divya Bhardwaj, Assistant City Editor

Both the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and the Evanston Township High School District 202 Boards of Education have seats up for grabs in the upcoming election this April. 

The District 65 and District 202 boards each comprise seven members who serve four-year terms. This year, two incumbents and three challengers are contending for three positions on the District 65 board. Three incumbents and two newcomers are competing for four positions on the District 202 board.

The election takes place April 4. 

District 65


(Graphic by Joanne Haner)


Sergio Hernandez Jr.: Hernandez currently serves as school board president. He has held a position on the board since 2017, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy, prior to his first full term in 2019. During his tenure, he focused on implementing equity in District 65 and told The Daily he aims to continue doing so. His teaching career spans several years as a bilingual Spanish educator across the Chicago area, and he recently served as director of family and community engagement for the Illinois State Board of Education.

John Martin: Martin has not previously held a position on the school board. He works for a software company and has two children attending elementary school in District 65. He also served as the commissioner of Evanston American Youth Soccer Association to bring youth soccer back after a hiatus due to COVID-19. If elected, he told The Daily he hopes to improve communication between administration and teachers. 

Ndona Muboyayi: Muboyayi ran for a seat on the District 65 board in 2021, finishing sixth among eight candidates. She previously worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street, and since returning to her hometown of Evanston, she has joined the African-American, Black and Caribbean Parent Group and served as president of the District 65 Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. Muboyayi’s platform prioritizes reducing systemic barriers for children from marginalized families and increasing support for English language learners.

Omar Salem: Salem is a professional issues director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a member of the city’s Equity and Empowerment Commission. He teaches in the department of special education at Niles North High School and works as a real estate agent. In September, he applied to fill the vacancy caused by Marquise Weatherspoon’s resignation. If elected, he told The Daily he hopes to facilitate how the district relays information to students, parents and the broader community. 

Mya Wilkins: Wilkins (Kellogg ’06) was appointed to the board in October to fill a vacancy after Anya Tanyavutti resigned. A District 65 parent, Wilkins has children at Chute Middle School and Walker Elementary School. She serves as an executive director of marketing research at JP Morgan Chase and holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern. Improving equity in the district is one of her key goals.

District 202


(Graphic by Joanne Haner)


Mirah Anti: Anti has held a position on the board since 2021 when she was one of three candidates elected for that year’s four vacant board positions. She serves as director of equity and inclusion at Township High School District 113. If elected to the District 202 board, she told The Daily she’d prioritize community schooling to provide resources like therapists in school. Anti is running as a write-in candidate for a two-year seat.

Monique Parsons: The parent of an ETHS alumnus and a graduate of Evanston/Skokie public schools, Parsons currently serves as board vice president after first joining the board in 2015. Parsons told The Daily that she would prioritize improving special education programs and recruiting and retaining a diverse staff if she were to serve another term. 

Leah Piekarz: Piekarz is seeking her first term on the board after serving as an ETHS counselor for 21 years prior to her retirement in 2022. Her responsibilities included providing student support, facilitating standardized testing and assisting with post-graduation plans. She’s running on a platform of improving college and career readiness and listening to student voices. 

Liz Rolewicz: Rolewicz was first elected to the board in 2019. If reelected, she aims to continue addressing race as a predictor of academic outcomes. Rolewicz also serves as communication chair of the PTA Equity Project, which seeks equal distribution of PTA resources among District 65 schools. Previously, she worked in child welfare and advocacy as a foster parent.

Kristen Scotti: First-time board candidate and ETHS parent Scotti told The Daily working toward better outcomes for disabled students is a major priority for her. As a board member, she said she would also focus on how students’ intersectional and marginalized identities affect their educational experience. 

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