Sergio Hernandez.

Leaders of Evanston/Skokie School District 65 say they will look far and wide for someone to replace Devon Horton as superintendent of schools.

Horton will become superintendent of the DeKalb County, Georgia, school system on July 1, after three years at the helm of D65.

In a statement issued Thursday, School Board President Sergio Hernandez thanked Horton for his efforts, saying, “I know that it is bittersweet” for Horton to leave, as “he cares deeply about our students and our schools.”

Hernandez said, “As a school board, hiring our superintendent is our most important job.”

He said there will be a transparent, nationwide search, which will not be rushed.

“We know the importance,” Hernandez added, “of a thorough, inclusive search and identifying a pool of highly qualified, student-centered candidates.

He said the board plans to appoint an interim superintendent to take over during the search.

The “priority for the interim role is maintaining stability and continuity for our communty,” Hernandez said. The plan is to name the interim leader before the end of the current school year, “to help ensure a thoughtful transition prior to Dr. Horton’s departure.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Horton had said he was willing to “start work before” his July 1 contract date in Georgia. However, that apparently will not take place.

Hernandez said that Horton “will remain our superintendent and continue to lead our district through June 30,” before taking over in DeKalb.

Prior to being chosen for the District 65 position, Horton had been chief of schools, a top administrative (but not superintendent) post in the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentkucky.

District 65 hired Horton with a three-year contract, effective July 1, 2020, and extended the contract last year through June 2026, giving Horton a 5% pay raise to $262,500, plus annual cost-of-living increases.

However, now, with Horton leaving, he will have served only the three years of his initial deal.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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1 Comment

  1. School Board President Sergio Hernandez “said there will be a transparent, nationwide search, which will not be rushed.” Last time it was done in secret. How will this transparent process work? Will there be a publicly stated plan for the search? Will there be something in place for input— a survey of District 65 employees as well as all citizens in the District?

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