District 65 superintendent set to leave, run Georgia school district


Dr. Devon Horton is set to become superintendent of DeKalb County School District in Georgia.

On April 4, District 65 released a statement that shared the news that its superintendent, Dr. Devon Horton, was the sole candidate to run the Dekalb County School District outside of Atlanta.

“It’s bittersweet for me to share that my next professional step will take me elsewhere,” Horton wrote in the statement. “I am excited by the opportunity and, while difficult, know this is the right decision for my family and me.”

Horton, who had been in the role for three years and had received a contract extension as of 2022, leaves District 65 at a moment in which decreasing enrollment, below-average test results, and a push to build a new school in the Fifth Ward remain as priorities for stakeholders.

Throughout his three years at the helm of District 65, Horton navigated the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of incidents at D65 schools and outside pressure around his vision and values. Despite the challenges, Horton notes the success he witnessed across the district during his time in leadership.

“I believe we have made great strides in furthering educational outcomes for all students by strengthening academic supports and interventions including launching Academic Skill Centers for high dosage tutoring; diversifying our educator pipeline and proactively addressing the nationwide teaching shortage through our CREATE65 Teacher Residency; helping ensure the district’s financial sustainability by significantly increasing our fund balance; and developing an equitable student assignment plan and returning a school to the Fifth Ward community,” Horton wrote in the statement.

Many initiatives that were begun as Horton was superintendent will now be handed off to whoever the District 65 School Board names as his successor.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside Dr. Devon Horton to advance the racial equity systems work in Evanston/Skokie School District 65,” District 65 School Board President Sergio Hernandez Jr. wrote in the district’s press release. “Dr. Horton’s leadership was instrumental in the implementation of frameworks, processes and strategies that focus on ensuring students, families and educators get the resources they need to close the historic opportunity gaps in our school district. He will be sorely missed and the board and I wish him and his family continued success as he moves on to his next great opportunity to bring much needed transformative racial equity change within the American educational system.”

A formal announcement of Horton’s move will occur in April, and the district’s school board will begin its search for Horton’s replacement in the upcoming months.