After doing a thorough nationwide search for the best person to lead the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school system as superintendent, the board picked an Evanston resident, Dr. Paul Goren.
The appointment will be made official at the next regular meeting of the board Monday night.
“We feel very fortunate to have such a talented educator join us in our efforts to provide the very best opportunities for all the students in District 65,” said board president Tracy Quattrocki in announcing the selection Thursday.
“Given his knowledge of the Evanston community and his unrelenting commitment to educating the diverse needs of our students,” she added, “Paul Goren brings so much to our district.”
Goren currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Programs at The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in Chicago. Previously, he served as the Interim Chief for Strategy & Accountability for Chicago Public Schools as well as the Deputy Superintendent of Policy and Strategic Services for Minneapolis Public Schools.
The new superintendent-designee replied that “District 65 is filled with the best teachers, outstanding principals, active and engaged parents and community members, and students that are second to none. I look forward to meeting and working with all involved in our public schools in ways that will make the citizens of Evanston and Skokie proud. I couldn’t be more excited to join District 65.”
Goren has lived in Evanston for the past 16 years with his wife, Gwen Macsai, and their three children, who are veterans of Oakton Elementary School, Chute Middle School, and Evanston Township High School.
He has also served on the boards of Youth Organization Umbrella, and Foundation 65, both of which provide supplemental funding and volunteer support for district activities.
When he appeared last week at a public forum for superintendent candidates, Goren said he was supportive of the district’s efforts at early-childhood education, strengthening arts education, and helping all students achieve at the highest possible level, but not at the expense of the high achievers.
In making the announcement Thursday via a news release, district officials noted that its new chief has spent 34 years in education as a teacher, coach, deputy superintendent, strategic advisor, and instructional leader and has many years of experience in running diverse urban school districts and designing educational policy.
“His focus, both locally and nationally, has been on addressing the achievement gap, promoting healthy child development, helping make data more usable, and improving teaching and learning,” the release said.