School District 65 announced yesterday evening that the School Board will announce at its April 27 meeting that Soo La Kim will be filling the vacancy on the Board created when Candance Chow who resigned her position, effective February 10, 2020.

The announcement said that 23 people applied to serve on the Board, and that due to the Governor Pritzker’s announcement on March 13 of statewide school closures, the Board’s original timeline to interview applicants and appoint a new Board member at its March 23 meeting was delayed. Instead, the Board, in a closed session, interviewed applicants virtually on March 30.

“On March 31, the Board notified Kevin Jauch, Regional Superintendent of Schools, that it had interviewed and selected a candidate but would not be able to seat that candidate within the 60-day deadline set by the Illinois School Code without scheduling a special Board meeting,” said the District.

“Dr. Jauch commended the Board’s efforts to limit public meetings and prioritize the health of its community. By letter dated April 3, 2020, Dr. Jauch agreed to use the authority granted to him by the Illinois School Code to affirm the Board’s selection and appoint Ms. Kim to fill the board vacancy.”

“The Board is very excited to have Soo La join us as a member of the District 65 school board,” said Suni Kartha, President of the School Board. “We once again had a number of highly qualified applicants for this position, which is such a strong testament to our community’s commitment to public education. Soo La’s perspective as a longtime educator, particularly her work in faculty support and development, will be extremely beneficial to our governance discussions. In addition, Soo La has shown an outstanding dedication to equity and her community with her leadership of the Next Steps education series.”

Dr. Kim has more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education. As Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs in the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University, Dr. Kim oversees professional master’s degree programs and certificate programs across a range of disciplines.

Before joining Northwestern in 2016, she was Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence at Columbia College Chicago, responsible for faculty development programs focused on more effective approaches to teaching, learning, and curriculum design.

She has also worked in the writing programs at Princeton and Harvard, and began her career as an educator at the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a Ph.D. in English.

Dr. Kim and her husband have a 6th grader at Nichols and a 2nd grader at Lincoln. She is a founding member of the Lincoln Equity Committee and is on the planning committee of the Next Steps education and advocacy series on race, equity, and education. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kim immigrated to New York with her family when she was six years-old, and grew up in Queens and Long Island, where she attended public schools serving diverse communities. She has made Evanston her home for nearly 13 years.


“I’m excited and honored to join a Board dedicated to making meaningful policy changes that promote equitable access to high quality education for all students, and I look forward to supporting Dr. Devon Horton as he begins his leadership in District 65” said Dr. Kim.

Dr. Kim’s term will run through the April 2021 election.