Next superintendent says his values align with those of Skokie School District 68

After Skokie School District 68’s Board of Education approved Scott Grens as the next superintendent, starting July 1, Grens told Pioneer Press he’s excited about the district’s long-range plan for social-emotional learning.

Grens, the associate superintendent for Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, said he would “hopefully forever” stay in the new position with District 68. The board approved Grens at a special meeting on Dec. 18. The Board of Education held six special meetings between November and December to discuss its search for a new superintendent before approving Grens.

“We believe that Dr. Grens is the leader who best fits the profile created in collaboration with the Skokie 68 Community, and we’re excited to introduce him to (the current superintendent, James Garwood,) for what we expect to be a seamless transition into the next chapter of our district’s growth,” said Board of Education President Joseph Ruffner.

“I think it’s going to be a really great fit,” said Grens. “One of the things that I just think is so exciting and strong about this district is that they have articulated what it is that they value as a district and as an organization, and I see a total alignment between my personal and professional values and the core values of the district.”

Grens said he was attracted to the district’s long-range strategic plan around social-emotional learning that considers each student’s value. In the fall of 2022, the board of education approved the plan with five objectives: deepening cultural understandings, cultivating each child’s social, emotional, intellectual, cultural, linguistic and physical development, promoting a learning culture, pursuing an exceptional learning environment, and creating connections and collaboration between all stakeholders in the community.

“I think the fact that the school district has done their due diligence to be so organized in their planning is going to allow for me to really learn as much as I can about the district and the staff, students and the family before even entering the position,” said Grens.

Grens has been the associate superintendent of District 205 since 2021. In 2019, he was an assistant superintendent for the district. Before then, he had been the principal of Rutledge Hall in Lincolnwood School District 74 for three years and the principal of Lake View High School in Chicago Public Schools before that. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in educational leadership from National Louis University. Grens also served as an adjunct professor at National Louis University.

Gren’s contract at District 68 is for three years and has a base salary of $215,000.