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In the past few days, members of the community have been sharing a link to the website of “Altering the Education Xpectation,” which offers executive coaching in the educational field. In the About Us section, Dr. Devon Horton, Superintendent of School District 65, is the only person mentioned.

Organizational papers for a limited liability company “Altering the Education Xpectation LLC” were filed with the Illinois Secretary of State on Oct. 15, 2020. Dr. Horton is listed as the manager.

The organization’s website says it provides executive coaching in the educational field. The company offers a three-month program that includes:

  • “Three Saturday sessions
  • “Two 90 minute 1 on 1 Interview preparation sessions with Founder Dr. Horton
  • “Executive Leadership searching support (Assistant Principal, Principal, Central Office, Cabinet and Superintendent)
  • “Real time interview prep Book Study”

The RoundTable asked Dr. Horton to comment on why the organization was formed, whether he had done any executive coaching to date, and to provide any other information he would like.

“Altering the Education Xpectation was officially formed as an LLC back in October of 2020,” Dr. Horton told the RoundTable. “The executive coaching was something that I had been doing since the fall of 2017. All of the coaching that I have done to date has been for free. There are principals, and central office leaders that have used my services to help them either improve some systems in their current role or prepare them for an interview. I started doing this out of the need of minority candidates seeking additional support that was either not available or could not afford the support. I had been asked by quite a few people to form an LLC so that my services could be used by their district to help them build out systems around equity, teacher residency (diversifying their teacher pipeline) and or leadership development. 

“To date I have only done business one time under Altering the Education Xpectation. That was done on March 5th of this year. It was a one-hour virtual Equity symposium in Harris County, Texas. There are leaders across the state and country that I have worked with in private and it has all been done for free.

“Any services that I have provided have been done in my own spare time. I have not done business with any staff member of D65 or any organization or business affiliated with the City of Evanston or D65.”

The contract that Dr. Horton entered into with the District 65 School Board provides at paragraph 8:

“The Superintendent shall confine professional and employment activities to the business of the School District, except as provided in this paragraph or as otherwise approved by the Board. On an occasional, short-term basis approved by the Board, the Superintendent shall be permitted to undertake, writing, teaching, and speaking engagements. Any consulting work undertaken by the Superintendent for compensation must be accomplished on the Superintendent’s vacation days, holidays, or other non-duty days. The Board’s President shall be notified of the nature of the consulting activities, which shall not interfere with the performance of the Superintendent’s duties.”

Dr. Horton told the RoundTable, “In my contract I am allowed to do outside work as long as I make President Tanyavutti aware. Anya was made aware of the one speaking event.”

The RoundTable asked School Board President Anya Tanyavutti if the School Board approved the activity of executive coaching. Ms. Tanyavutti did not respond before this article was posted.

 

5 replies on “D65 Superintendent Devon Horton Forms LLC for Executive Coaching”

  1. Sounds like a professional Black man is doing some professional work that he is qualified to do and isn’t against his contract and he has official paperwork so that he might get paid to do that work, are we not okay with that?

  2. “On an occasional, short-term basis approved by the Board, the Superintendent shall be permitted to undertake, writing, teaching, and speaking engagements. Any consulting work undertaken by the Superintendent for compensation must be accomplished on the Superintendent’s vacation days, holidays, or other non-duty days. The Board’s President shall be notified of the nature of the consulting activities, which shall not interfere with the performance of the Superintendent’s duties.”
    While he’s only had one paid gig since establishing his side-hustle, setting up a business, putting up a website, creating videos, etc. seems like much more than “occasional.” One of these services is a three day venture. More problematic for me is the fact that our district is in crisis and this seems like the guy in charge wouldn’t have time for other interests, much less setting up a full consulting gig on the side.
    This isn’t just a problem in Evanston, but nationwide, and should definitely be examined more closely. Aren’t some of our current school board members also paid consultants, some of them being paid by D65. And didn’t Horton approve a contract with former colleagues from a previous district for more than $100k without Board approval? Sounds to me like more fiscal oversight and accountability would be a good thing here, especially for a district in financial free-fall.

  3. I’m glad we hired Dr. Horton. This guy gives away his own time and expertise in education to help lift those up who need it – making better educators. Wish we had more people like this in our world. I also wish this article didn’t read like a wanna-be hit piece.

  4. Roundtable, we get it! You can’t stand to see Black people in power. In the meantime, we’re lucky to have an educational scholar and leader in our community. Thank you Dr Horton for your service to D65 and your willingness to share what you know with educators elsewhere.

  5. I’m in education, and I’d love to learn from Dr. Horton. My principal has always done this type of work—some for free and some as a consultant—and I’ve helped do leadership trainings with her. This isn’t something unusual in the field of education for quality educators to do—they teach others how to be successful. Let’s not assume experts should always give their knowledge and services for free—yet Dr. Horton has coached others for free before forming his LLC. He’s already proved he’s an expert in the field with 99% of the tough decisions he’s made for the district since he’s been here. Why is this even an article?

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