This afternoon. Dekalb County Schools announced their sole finalist for the superintendent role, Dr. Devon Horton- the current Superintendent of Evanston/Stokie School District 65- north of Chicago. Horton was hired by District 65 as Superintendent in June 2020 with a contract extension from 2022 through 2026. A native of Chicago, Horton has worked previously as the Chief of Schools at Jefferson County Schools in Kentucky and as Deputy Superintendent of East St. Louis School District in Illinois.
Board Chair Diijon DaCosta, Sr. said, “The Board has made great progress in announcing its sole finalist for DeKalb County School District’s superintendent position. Dr. Horton has an impressive track record of leading districts with diverse student populations and implementing initiatives that promote academic success. We are confident he will lead our district of 14,000 employees with integrity and excellence and be committed to achieving positive academic outcomes for our 92,000 scholars.”
Dr. Horton will take over after the surprising firing of then-Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris in 2022 by a vote from the school board. The firing came after a video was released by Druid Hills students about the deteriorating building conditions, followed up by Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods writing a letter scolding the Board for not being proactive in improving building conditions at Druid Hills. Following Watson-Harris’ firing, Dr. Vasanne Tinsley was named interim Superintendent.
“I’m deeply honored to be selected as the sole finalist for Superintendent, and I look forward to continued conversations with the Board. I firmly believe that DeKalb will be the best place in America to learn, teach, and lead. If entrusted with the superintendency, I will embrace that goal enthusiastically,” said Dr. Horton in the press release. “DeKalb is a place that inspires me, and the conversations that have led to this moment have only increased my excitement.”
Dr. Horton holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Chicago State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the same university, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Jackson State University.
Dr. Horton will engage with employees, parents, and students during April 12-14 during three town hall meetings and visits to schools in each region. According to Georgia law OCGA 50-18-72, school districts must provide a minimum of 14 days for public input before finalizing an agreement with a new superintendent. The Board can vote on the appointment any time after the 14 days.
If confirmed, Dr. Horton will take the helm of the district as they deal with an increase in weapons and other dealing post-pandemic learning loss.