Angel Turner fought back tears several times Monday evening, when she thanked the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board for choosing her as the district’s interim superintendent.
Turner, one of five assistant superintendents in D65, will take the top leadership post effective July 1, when current superintendent Devon Horton starts his new job as the head of DeKalb County Schools in Georgia.
“I’m humbled and honored to accept this appointment,” Turner said.
“Your belief and faith in me … gives me great joy and gratification.”
Turner has been with District 65 since mid-2021, first as director of literacy, and most recently as assistant superintendent/director of schools.
Before coming to D65, Turner, who has a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, worked at the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago, and in Chicago Public Schools, among other places. She has two decades of experience in educational leadership.
District 65 records show Turner was being paid approximately $169,000 per year, not including benefits. Her agreement for the interim superintendent’s position was not released at the board meeting, so it’s not known publicly what pay raise, if any, she will get for the new position.
School board president Sergio Hernandez called Turner a “dynamic and impactful leader.”
The board also agreed to hire a search firm to look for a permanent superintendent.
But first, there has to be a search firm search.
The board plans to solicit proposals, interview three firms during the board’s July retreat, and then decide on one.
Hernandez said the goal is to announce the new, permanent superintendent in October or November.
“The high season for superintendent searches,” he noted, “is in the fall. If we miss the fall we miss the window.”
Hernandez also promised “community engagement and transparency.”
Board member Biz Lindsay-Ryan said whoever is ultimately chosen, “they have to speak the equity language” which is so important for District 65.
It’s too soon, of course, to say if Turner wants the job permanently, as she has not even started as the interim.
But whoever does get the position will probably sound a lot like Turner did when she told the board “I am passionate about every, and I do mean every student in the district getting the opportunity to meet their full potential.”