The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education last night appointed three principals and two interim principals to elementary schools in the district, to take effect on July 1 before the new school year begins.

The three new principals are Dr. LaTarsha Green at Dawes Elementary, Ginger Lumpkin at Walker Elementary, and Jessica Plaza at Orrington Elementary.

Interim principal appointments included Michelle Bournes-Thomas, current assistant principal at Lincoln Elementary, to Lincolnwood, and Donna Sokolowski, current assistant principal at Dewey Elementary, to Dewey.

Superintendent Paul Goren, who recommended the appointments to the board, said that Green, Lumpkin, and Plaza had completed an extensive vetting process before their appointments were recommended.

As part of that process, he explained, members of the district’s leadership team met diverse groups of teachers, educational support staff, parents, and administrators at each respective school to develop leadership profiles that identified the skills and attributes desired for their next principal.

The information contained within the leadership profile was used to narrow down pools of dozens of qualified applicants. Those that were identified as a strong fit for the respective roles were invited to participate in community forums and were interviewed by committees of teachers, parents, and administrators, with Superintendent Goren making the final recommendation.

Given the timing of the openings at Lincolnwood and Dewey, he said, “we did not feel there was sufficient time to conduct an extensive and engaging selection process and ensure a smooth transition for the coming school year. Additionally, planning for next school year is already under way and assigning interim principals ensures that important work on behalf of our students and staff continues uninterrupted.”

 Nevertheless, he added, “we are very fortunate to have strong leaders within District 65 to appoint to interim roles at Dewey and Lincolnwood for the coming school year.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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