Bill Geiger

Central Street Neighbors Association School Board Questionnaire



Bill GeigerName: Bill Geiger

Candidate for: District 202

Voting address:
316 Ashland Ave.


Years lived in school district: 9

Campaign website: CitizensForBillGeiger.Com

Campaign phone:

E-mail address:

Other websites on which you post campaign statements or positions:

Campaign Chair: Bill Geiger

Treasurer: Charles Heisinger

Campaign manager or consultant(s): Katie Trippi

Elective or appointive public or party offices previously held including dates:


What is your primary occupation?

Non-profit leadership - CEO of the McGaw YMCA

Breifly list your past civic activities. If numerous list here the five most relevant:

  • Leadership Evanston
  • Evanston Youth Initiative
  • ETHS Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee
  • Rotary Club of Evanston
  • Advisory Boards: The Delta Foundation, Senior Connections


What subjects have you studied and what experience have you had which will be most helpful to you as you serve on the school board?

I majored in sociology with a minor in eduction as an undergraduate. Following graduation, I taught at Haven (Middle School,) worked at the Evanston YMCA as a youth director and Camp Echo director, and in institutional planning and fundraising over a 10-year period. I then spent 20 years in business. For the past nine years as CEO of the McGaw YMCA, I have been deeply committed to youth and building relationships and collaborations in the community. I continue to learn about our community seeking opportunities to help youth succeed and strengthening our community. In addition, my work with the YMCA Board of Directors has given me an understanding of effective Board governance and insights into the role of a Board / Board members.


Please list all endorsements you have received so far.  You may also use this space if desired to indicate what you consider to be your principal base(s) of support and why you want voters to consider your endorsements or support base.

The list of those supporting my campaign is available on my campaign website, currently includes more than 85 names, and continues to grow. New supporters are welcome! My principal bases of support include those who know of my community strengthening work at the McGaw YMCA, community leaders, elected officials, and many individuals who have worked for many years to make Evanston the great community it is today and ETHS a terrific experience.


Essence of Campaign. Briefly, why are you running and why should a voter give you one of his or her votes? How will electing you make a difference?

I am running because of my deep commitment to the youth of our community and their families and the belief that ETHS is one of the most important institutions in our community. I bring both non-profit and business leadership experience as well as an understanding of the roles and responsibilites of a board member. I will challenge myself and others to work hard to understand the various perspectives on issues, to listen to and respect others' views to be best of my ability, to engage in constructive dialogue, to employ data-driven decision-making, and support the decisions of the Board. As a Board member, I will build the level of trust and effectiveness of the Board.


Educational philosophy. American education, and sometimes that in Evanston, is variously criticized as culturally biased in favor of dominant or privileged classes or groups and their culture, as too relativistic, as too coddling and mushy, as failing to prepare students for the 21st century economy, or as failing to teach basics, among others. What principal deficit(s) in American or Evanston education do you see, and what will you do as a local Board member to address this?

1) Keeping pace with change - Our world is changing at what some feel is a mind-bending rate. It is an enormous challenge for educational institutions to be responsive, remain relevant, and to keep pace. As a Board member, part of my job will be to keep current on educational research, innovation, and advancement and assess what this means for our future.

2) The non-college bound - Too many youth who do not enter post-secondary education or training have no pathway for success. As a Board member, I will support expanding career and technical education at ETHS and engaging community partners in this effort.

3) The achievement gap - The achievement gap persists. As a Board member, I will encourage Board, administration and staff, and the community to provide the leadership, strategies, and resources to work together to begin to close the gap.

4) Financing - Financial resources will be reduced. I will be a careful steward of public resources. In addition I will advocate for the evaluation of expenditures based on their impact on district goals and objectives and the development of contingency plans preparing ETHS for a more resource-constrained future.


Superintendent. If elected this April, during your tenure you will have one or more opportunities to fire, hire, or extend the contract of a superintendent. What specific criteria, if any, including any quantitative performance criteria, will you use in your decision?

A) Those existing agreed-upon performance objectives for the Superintendent.

B) Progress toward the achievement of District Goals 2012 - 2015 approved by the Board October, 2012.

C) Performance measures established to assure that district assets are protected.


Expenditures. District 202's most recent posted total budget for all funds is over $72 million – which is over $23,000 per student. District median household income is less than $65,000. Is the current expenditure level necessary and sustainable?

The current expenditure level is necessary, but increasingly a burden on many taxpayers. While ETHS financial performance has demonstrated good stewardship and fiscal responsibility, the future will bring more challenges. Contingency plans are required to assure that strategic priorities are maintained and reductions planned-for assuming lower revenues.


Tracking. State succinctly and specifically what ETHS should be doing the same, more of, or differently with respect to differentiated or mixed-level instruction, tracking, and the honors program, and why.

I support the Board's decision to implement mixed-level earned honors Freshman Humanities and Biology. The research, planning, implementation and expected outcomes presented to the Board, in my view, were and continue to be compelling. There is an expectation of improved academic performance in students who otherwise would be in regular classes and continued high achievement of those who previously would be in honors classes. The evaluation process underway is critical to assessing the realized outcomes. The data and findings of this evaluation must inform future actions. In addition, there is a need for significantly improved communication about the results experienced during implementation. Some of the widely-varying views that exist in our community today are likely the result of incorrect, incomplete, or mis-understood early outcomes. Ccommunications strategies for engaging parents and others across our community in on-going dialogue about this important change is essential.


Cost Shifting. What should the district be doing to prepare for the possibility that some or all costs of pension financing will be shifted to suburban and downstate districts, as they are for Chicago schools?

1) Contingency planning as discussed previously.

2) Advocating for / engagement with State Legislators in policy discussions in Springfield.