League of Women Voters District 65 Candidates Forum

The League of Women Voters of Evanston will conduct a forum for candidates running for the District 65 School Board in the upcoming April 4 Consolidated Election on Saturday, March 18 at the Morton Civic Center in the Council Chambers. The school board candidate forum will start at 1:00 p.m. Aforum for 9th ward city council  candidates will follow.

Sunday, March 19th is the last day for online registration. Early voting begins Monday, March 20th.

The public is invited to attend the forums and ask questions of the candidates. Suggested questions may be e-mailed in advance to lwvevanston@gmail.com.  The moderators will be from outside the boundaries of the contested races.  A video recording of the forum will be posted on the LWV-Evanston website at www.lwve.org from March 19 through Election Day, April 4th. Early voting begins 

The following information about the five candidates vying for the three-four year positions are: 

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 WilkinsWilkins (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.

This information was provided by The League of Women Voters through The Daily Northwestern.