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Five ETHS alums honored at annual Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dec 6, 2016  3:35pm CST


Five alumni of Evanston Township High School (ETHS) received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award at an induction ceremony on December 5, 2016. Steven Gilford (Class of 1970), Tanika Island-Childress (Class of 1991), Gregory Klaiber (Class of 1978), Megan Twohey (Class of 1994), and Lynne Williams Twist (Class of 1963) were honored during the recognition program sponsored by the ETHS District 202 Board of Education and the ETHS Alumni Association.

The Distinguished Alumni Award Selection Committee evaluates the nominations each year and selects the recipients. The committee is made up of students, current and former ETHS faculty and staff members, community members and alumni. The ETHS Distinguished Alumni Award program was established to recognize and honor the outstanding accomplishments of ETHS graduates and, by celebrating these role models, to inspire today’s students to follow their own pursuit of excellence. This year’s honorees shared advice and answered questions from the senior Class of 2017 before visiting ETHS classrooms throughout the day.


About the 2016-17 winners:


Steven Gilford (Class of 1970) is the head of office and senior partner in the Litigation Dispute Resolution Department in the Chicago office of Proskaurer Rose, a leading global law firm. He serves as the vice chair of the Illinois State Board of Education, was a 12-year member and two-term president of the ETHS District 202 School Board and has been involved in the leadership of many Chicago and Evanston area not-for-profit organizations including Metropolitan Family Services where he was a director and past president. Gilford has been part of life-changing legal representation for marginalized groups like prisoners, the mentally ill and transgender individuals.


Steven Gilford (ETHS ‘70)

Tanika Island-Childress (Class of 1991) is the Chief Academic Officer of the University of Chicago Charter School and the Program and Managing Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. She has had a profound impact on the development and training of new teachers in her current role. Island-Childress began her career as a classroom teacher in Evanston and after shifting to the University of Chicago Charter School, she became a teacher leader/coach and pioneered efforts to upgrade expectations for all of her students. Spending her life as an educator in Evanston and Chicago, she has been recognized as a leader in schools and in her community.


Tanika Island-Childress (ETHS ‘91)

Greg Klaiber (Class of 1978) is the Director of Emergency Management for Northwestern University. Formerly the Chief of the Evanston Fire Department, he served the Evanston community over his 30+ year career with the department. He was an executive board member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and an Executive Board member of the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy. An active community volunteer, Klaiber has served as a member of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board, trustee with the Evanston Fourth of July Association, and a coach and leader with the Evanston Speed Skating and Youth Baseball programs.


Greg Klaiber (ETHS ‘78)

Megan Twohey (Class of 1994) is an award-winning journalist who works as a staff writer for The New York Times. Her 2013 investigative series, “The Child Exchange,” uncovered an underground network where parents gave away their adopted children through an illicit practice known as private re-homing. As a reporter on the 2016 presidential election team, Twohey co-wrote two widely read political stories for The Times - one about Donald Trump’s treatment of women, the other showing how Trump allegedly avoided paying taxes for up to 18 years.


Megan Twohey (ETHS ‘94)

Lynne Williams Twist (Class of 1963) is the bestselling author of The Soul of Money and is recognized as a global visionary, raising hundreds of millions of dollars to address poverty and hunger and to support social justice and environmental sustainability. Her deepening understanding of the world’s social tapestry is credited to her efforts that include working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, serving in the refugee camps in Ethiopia, and helping preserve the threatened rainforests of the Amazon.


Lynne Williams Twist (ETHS ‘63)