Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Evanston/Skokie School District 65 community members meet new superintendent

Anavi Prakash/The Daily Northwestern
Newly appointed superintendent Angel Turner greets community members at her welcome reception.

About 200 Evanston/Skokie School District 65 community members attended a welcome reception for newly appointed Superintendent Angel Turner at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center Tuesday evening.

Turner was named District 65’s interim superintendent last June after former Superintendent Devon Horton took a new job at a Georgia school district. Prior to that, Turner was the district’s assistant superintendent of schools and director of literacy. The District 65 Board of Education named Turner the district’s permanent superintendent at its March 18 meeting.

“Together, I am confident that we can achieve great things and create a positive impact on the lives of our students, families and community,” Turner said at the event.  

The reception was a way for the community to get to know Turner on an informal level, according to Melissa Messinger, the district’s chief communications officer. She said community leaders, partners, district staff and families were all in attendance. 

Board President Sergio Hernandez called Turner a “powerful force” in the District 65 community during his remarks to attendees. 

“She’s trying to humanize the work that we do as educators,” he said. “(This) is critical as we try to continue to transform our school system into the one of the most equitable and accessible school systems for all students in all families across Skokie and Evanston.”

Turner said she’s ready to “roll up sleeves” to increase efficiency and productivity in the district, with the goal of making District 65 the “premier” elementary and middle school district in the North Shore. 

The reception featured Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Center students’ art and performances by Chute Middle School orchestra students and Dawes Elementary and Kingsley Elementary’s joint choir.

Ellen Johnson, a Dawes Elementary parent, said she was there to support her daughter, who is in the choir. She said she was happy Turner was named superintendent because continuity is important for the district.

“She’s been a part of the district in various roles over her career, (which) I think is a nice thing to have in a superintendent,” Johnson said. “I care a lot about equity in the school district and I know that she does too and will promote those values.” 

Turner was chosen through a monthslong process involving various stakeholder surveys and rounds of interviews with candidates. 

She comes into this role as District 65 is discussing the closure of the Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, building a new 5th Ward school and navigating a budget crisis.

“It just feels very wonderful to see the support from various community partners, from families, from parents, who really see what I see,” Hernandez told The Daily. “That’s a superintendent who is dedicated to ensuring that we’re building relationships, that we have transparency in the business that we do for the community.”

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