Devon Horton, most recently the chief of schools for Jefferson County in Kentucky, is set to become the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 superintendent.
The district’s board approved on Monday a contract for Horton to be superintendent from July 1 through the 2022-2023 academic year, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“As I listened to the conversations and statements made by the community, by parents, by the miraculous students about the passion they have for this work, this does not happen in many places, and I don’t think anyone takes this for granted,” Horton said in the Tribune article. “You guys really mean what you say, and you don’t find that often.”
On Nov. 6, board president Suni Kartha announced that the search firm the district hired had presented a report on 31 candidates in late October, and recommended five for interviews.
Former superintendent Paul Goren announced his resignation in June, prompting the search. Phil Ehrhardt and Heidi Wennstrom serve as co-interim superintendents for the 2019-2020 academic year.
According to Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Martin Pollio, Horton was chosen as chief of schools because of his success as a high school principal in Chicago and his role increasing student achievement as deputy superintendent as East St. Louis School District 189.
Horton has concentrated on performance management and the use of real-time data to improve instruction and administrative decisions, according to the JCPS website. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from Jackson State University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Chicago State University.
Horton said he hopes to use the community’s desire for change with regard to racial equity and social justice to close what he calls the district’s achievement gap, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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