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Six ETHS Alumni Honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award

December 8, 2023


ETHS 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients with Class of 2024 student presenters (from left): Dr. Kenneth Schaefle (ETHS ‘86), Jesse Johnson (ETHS ‘24), Gavin Daniels (ETHS ‘24), Jacques Philippe (ETHS ‘24), Izabella Paracuelles (ETHS ‘24), Jilian Denlow (ETHS ’24),  Dr. Frank Ling (ETHS ‘66), Nichelle Campbell-Miller (ETHS ‘11), and Yixuan Liu (ETHS ‘24).


Six alumni of Evanston Township High School (ETHS) received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award at an induction ceremony on December 4. The ETHS District 202 Board of Education and the ETHS Alumni Association sponsored a recognition ceremony where the following recipients were honored: Nichelle Campbell-Miller (Class of 2011), Sanders “Sam” Hicks (Class of 1940, posthumous), Dr. Elizabeth Hill (Class of 1916, posthumous), Dr. Frank Ling (Class of 1966), Dr. Kenneth Schaefle (Class of 1986), and Andrew Slavitt (Class of 1984).


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.

ETHS 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, top row: Nichelle Campbell-Miller, Sanders “Sam” Hicks, and Dr. Elizabeth Hill. Bottom row: Dr. Frank Ling, Dr. Kenneth Schaefle, and Andrew Slavitt.


About the 2023 recipients:


Nichelle Campbell-Miller (Class of 2011) is a school social worker known for her work with at-risk youth. She established the first Gay-Straight Alliance Club for students, facilitated anti-racism training for teachers, and collaborated with others to address discrimination against vulnerable populations. Additionally, she implemented a food distribution network for the entire Terre Haute community. In 2021, she was awarded Indiana Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.


Sanders “Sam” Hicks (Class of 1940, posthumous) was drafted in the middle of his senior year at ETHS to serve with the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, he had a long, distinguished career at the Evanston Fire Department, where he was the department’s first African-American firefighter and the first African-American fire chief. Hicks also founded the Evanston Speed Skating Club and was the first coach for Olympian Shani Davis, the first African American speedskater to medal in the Olympics. 


Dr. Elizabeth Hill (Class of 1916, posthumous) received her medical degree from the University of Illinois and during the Depression, had a private practice in Evanston, often offering free health care to those who could not afford it. She later became chief of staff at Community Hospital of Evanston, a 56-bed facility she fought to create so black residents would have a place to go when they needed hospitalization. Hill was actively involved in numerous organizations and was a lecturer at Northwestern University.


Dr. Frank Ling (Class of 1966) is a nationally renowned physician (OB/GYN) and a clinical professor at Vanderbilt University and several other teaching hospitals. He has written and published hundreds of medical papers, abstracts, and publications throughout his career. His most noted book is considered 'the' textbook every medical student has used for the past 30 years. He is also on the medical committee for the Memphis chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation. 


Dr. Kenneth Schaefle (Class of 1986) co-founded Boom Chicago, an Amsterdam-based improv comedy club. It helped launch Ted Lasso and the careers of Jordan Peele and Seth Meyers. Schaefle left Boom to go back to school and become a doctor. Now an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and a member of the Global Health faculty group, he spends 3-4 months a year in Uganda, delivering medical care at an impoverished government hospital.


Andrew Slavitt (Class of 1984) was tapped by the Obama Administration to successfully automate the first working website for Obamacare. Andrew was then promoted to Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, running all of Obamacare, Medicaid, and Medicare for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Slavitt then joined the Biden Administration as a Senior Advisor on the Covid-19 Taskforce, where he helped to educate Americans on the status of the disease, and ultimately helped lead the successful roll-out of vaccines.