The Evanston School District 65 School Board Monday night appointed James Gray principal of Walker Elementary School effective immediately. 

Stacey Beardsley, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said Gray “has demonstrated the ability to work with educators and community to build a strong school vision grounded in communication and trust. He has worked closely with educators to develop and strengthen educational programs, increasing both student enrollment and achievement scores, and has developed strong relationships with students.”

In 2017, Gray launched his own business, Coach House Consultants, which focused on training and support for school-based leaders including principals, foundations, charter school networks, and nation-wide nonprofits. 

Before that, Gray served as the principal of Hamilton Elementary School in Chicago for eight years and previously held roles as an assistant principal and teacher.

As principal, he spearheaded the shift to a fully inclusive model for students with disabilities, collaborated with educators to provide innovative learning opportunities, strengthened arts programming, and developed new communication tools to better connect with staff and families. 

Gray has a master’s degree in elementary education from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

“I am honored to be the next principal of Walker Elementary,” Gray said in a statement. “During the interview process two things became clear – Walker has passionate teachers and highly engaged parents. “The chance to lead a diverse school in a district committed to equity is exciting. I look forward to meeting students, staff and parents over the next few weeks.”

Related story

Principal leaves Walker (7/19/2019)

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