District 65 Superintendent
Dr. Devon Horton
In June 2020, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 welcomed Dr. Devon Horton as its new Superintendent of Schools.
Dr. Horton’s philosophy centers on educational equity as the lever to better student outcomes. His list of accomplishments is extensive and includes:
- implementing a district-wide racial equity policy, including prioritizing restorative practices and setting and monitoring equity-based goals to measure school improvement;
- spearheading work on teacher development and retention, creating systems that work with local universities to create a pipeline of diverse teachers that demonstrate culturally responsive practices;
- establishing a district-wide dashboard to make student data more relevant, transparent, and actionable for all stakeholders; and
- creating regular systems of two-way communication to maximize collaboration with multiple stakeholder groups.
- Dr. Horton’s work has led to demonstrable increases in MAP scores as well as reductions in suspensions, particularly for students of color.
Prior to joining the District 65 team, Dr. Horton served as the Chief of Schools for the Jefferson County Public School System in Louisville, KY. He began his career in Chicago Public Schools, where he was a middle school teacher for 10 years before moving into building administration. He transitioned into a central office role in 2014 in East St. Louis, where he served as the Deputy Superintendent of Achievement and Administration, before heading to Jefferson County Public Schools in 2018.
“District 65 has made historic commitments to not only bring awareness to the inequities that our society has created, but also plans to take action. Over the last couple of years, my role has been to build systems and monitor the implementation of racial equity work, high quality instruction, and leadership development. These priorities have yielded positive outcomes and results for all students. I have always believed that students do not fail, the social structures that we as adults create, fail our students,” said Dr. Horton. “I am humbled and ready to join the Evanston/Skokie family on the journey to becoming a national model district!”
“The Board would like to thank the members of our community for their involvement in this very important process. We heard from nearly 1,000 individuals and the perspectives and insights strongly informed our selection of Dr. Horton,” said Board President Kartha.
In June 2019, with the help of BWP & Associates, the School Board embarked on a nationwide search for the next superintendent of District 65. The Board committed to a transparent and inclusive process that included multiple opportunities for engagement including a community survey, a public forum, and multiple focus groups. We are grateful for the nearly 1,000 individuals for sharing their perspectives and insights that strongly informed the School Board's selection of Dr. Horton.
Dr. Horton’s mentors and colleagues call him a collaborative, passionate, and professional leader. The feedback from the Superintendent Search Focus Groups conducted during the “Day in the District,” which represented parents, educators, and community leaders included:
“His comments about what research says (about special ed practices, early childhood, etc) are accurate, he clearly knows research and the literature.”
“Exhibited the clear articulation of systems oriented change and has a clear understanding and vision on how to set Evanston to where we need to be to support our Black and Latinx students.”
“He has a great systems focus. He is very clear, deeply committed to racial equity. I think he would be able to form strong relationships with staff and community members.”
“Not afraid to make tough decisions to do right for kids.”
“Was able to give strong examples of implementing new strategies with success that actually benefited students.”
“He understands that an effective leader is somebody who listens to others and values the leadership and knowledge of educators.”