District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton has been given a top honor which is named for one of his predecessors.
Horton was just chosen as the “Joseph E. Hill Superintendent of the Year” by the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).
Hill, who died in 1998, was the first Black superintendent of the Evanston/Skokie School District. The district’s office building/early childhood center carries Hill’s name.
Hill was also one of the founders of NABSE.
Horton became superintendent in 2020, right after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NABSE says the Hill award is given to superintendents who have “demonstrated a quality of leadership that resulted in significant positive outcomes for students of African descent.”
In announcing the award, District 65 cites the decision to build a new school in the historically Black 5th Ward, the district’s teacher residency training program and the academic skills centers tutoring program as among Horton’s achievements.
In the District’s statement, Horton says he is humbled by the honor, and accepts it on behalf of the school system’s staff, students, families, and board members.
“‘The sky is the limit and we are only getting started,'” he adds.
Horton’s tenure has not been without flare-ups. Budget cuts, labor relations (which now seem to be improving), some curriculum content and a private security guard contract have all generated controversy.
The award will be presented at NABSE’s 50th anniversary convention, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in National Harbor, Maryland.