Now that upwards of 60 applicants have been vetted, narrowed down to five finalists, and each has had a chance to be grilled by faculty, administrators, parents, and interested citizens, the final round begins for the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board to select a superintendent to recommend decisions that will have a major effect on thousands of young lives.
One candidate, Nathan McCann, has already pulled out of the race and has accepted an offer from a school district in the small town of Ridgefield, Wash., just north of Portland, Ore.
Here are the remaining four candidates, listed in the order that they were presented in public forums last week at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School:
She is a former teacher at Lincolnwood Elementary School from 1997 to 2002 who moved to New Jersey due to her husband’s job change. She is currently assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, from pre-kindergarten through high school, at the Summit, N.J., Public Schools.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Teaching and Learning from DePaul University and is earning her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Saint Peters University in Jersey City, N.J.
Her district in Summit consists of nine schools, with 4,100 students, 630 staff members, and an approximate budget of $65 million.
Glazer says she has “initiated a program of on-going assessment analysis, including the evaluation of standardized testing results and have become skilled at using data systems to track achievement and student progress.”
A 16-year resident of Evanston with three children working their way through Oakton Elementary School, Chute Middle School, and Evanston Township High School, he has 25 years of experience with urban school systems, including San Diego, Calif., Minneapolis, Minn., and Chicago.
Goren is currently senior vice president for program at CASEL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, in Chicago.
He says he has “national and international experience designing education policy, addressing achievement gaps, managing school district finances, promoting healthy child development, helping make data more usable, and improving teaching and learning.”
Goren holds a masters degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from the Stanford University School of Education.
A former music teacher who rose through the ranks as principal and superintendent of schools in downstate Amboy, Ill., he is superintendent of Skokie/Morton Grove District 69 and asserts that his knowledge of how the system works in Illinois and, specifically, in Cook County, gives him an edge.
When he came to Skokie/Morton Grove in 2010, he said, achievement scores were sliding and the financial situation of the district was precarious.
By working closely with the board and the community, Shepherd said, the district was able to reverse the declining scores and to put its finances on a strong foundation.
His community involvement has earned him a “Rotarian of the Year” designation and asserts he has established strong working relationships with the Skokie business community and serves on the Community Council of Youth Organizations Umbrella.
Marty K. Smith
He is assistant superintendent of a cluster of 22 schools with 22,000 students in Fairfax County, Va., Public Schools outside of Washington, D.C.
“My primary responsibilities,” he says, “include hiring effective principals, promoting collaborative practices among K-12 principals, and engaging with community stakeholders.”
Smith is working on his Doctor of Education degree in Education Learning and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech.
A native Iowan, Smith began his teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher and has served as a school principal. He says he implores his principals to think innovatively and to become more collaborative.
All four of the candidates claim to be collaborative administrators who have been involved in their communities and have ideas for helping the district deal with the achievement gap between students of various racial and cultural backgrounds.
The board plans to make its final decision in April, with the new superintendent assuming full duties in July. He or she will be taking the job formerly held by Hardy Murphy, who resigned last August.
Board President Tracy Quattrocki has asked the public to offer their opinions to the board on filling the vacancy.