Angel Turner named Evanston/Skokie School District 65 superintendent

Angel Turner, interim superintendent at the Evanston/Skokie School District 65, will be dropping the interim portion of her title according to an announcement from the school district.

The announcement, made late Monday, said she would be taking on the role permanently immediately and was approved during the regular school district board meeting held Monday, March 18.

“Her experience, passion, and inclusive leadership style is exactly what our school district needs to move our goals and priorities forward,” Board President Sergio Hernandez said in a letter to families. “Dr. Turner shares in the commitments of our community in prioritizing equity; increasing our financial stability; and ensuring all students have access to a challenging, high quality learning experience in a supportive, safe environment. Having continuity in the form of Dr. Turner’s steady leadership will be impactful beyond measure in the coming years.”

The search, which began when previous superintendent Devon Horton left for Atlanta’s DeKalb County School District in April 2023 after three years with the district. Turner took over in an interim position in June 2023. She had previous experience with the district in her role as assistant superintendent of schools and director of literacy and has 20 plus years of experience in education.

The search brought in approximately 40 candidates, according to a news release from the district. A survey of community members and feedback from support groups outlined the qualities needed for the best candidate for the role. These included financial acumen, equity understanding, leadership in retaining the best and brightest educators, and an individual who is transparent and collaborative. Internal interviews at the district then pointed to Turner, according to the news release.

Turner will spearhead the district as it continues to explore plans for a new 5th Ward school and a looming $7 million budget deficit.

Budget woes have been linked to increased cost of transportation and decreased enrollment. A cost reduction plan began during the March 18 meeting, including the possible closure of Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies in Skokie.

“It is with immense gratitude and a profound sense of responsibility that I accept this role, knowing the deep impact it carries in the lives of our students, educators, families, and community,” Dr. Turner said at Monday’s meeting. “I pledge to continue to serve with humanization, compassion, integrity, transparency, accountability and a relentless commitment to equity and excellence in education.”

A welcome reception will be held in the spring.