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Evanston/Skokie School District 65 has announced the hiring of three new Principals for Washington, Dewey, and Willard Elementary Schools and an Assistant Principal for Dawes Elementary School. The four school leaders, who were unanimously approved by the School Board on May 17, will begin in their new roles on July 1.
Dr. Kimberly Watson – Principal of Dewey
Dr. Kimberly Watson will join the District as the principal for Dewey Elementary. An educator with 12 years of experience, Dr. Watson has served as an assistant principal for two International Baccalaureate schools, Prosser Career Academy and the Ogden International School of Chicago. Her most recent role was leading Westchester Elementary School as part of City Schools of Decatur in Decatur, Georgia.
Dr. Watson holds a Doctorate in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar. “I am beyond excited to join District 65 as the Principal of Dewey Elementary School,” Dr. Watson said. “I believe that every child deserves access to a free high-quality education, and I strive to help students achieve academic success while creating positive memories that will last a lifetime. I celebrate the achievements that Dewey Elementary School has already accomplished, and I look forward to all that we will achieve together.”
Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas-Lopez – Principal of Washington
Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas-Lopez will serve as the principal for Washington Elementary. Dr. Cardenas-Lopez has more than 20 years of experience in the educational field, having previously served as the District’s Director of Literacy. In that role, she advanced the District’s mission of racial and educational equity for all students through her leadership of District 65’s literacy curriculum and her work to improve the core instruction and educational outcomes of Black and Latinx students.
In addition to her doctorate, she also holds a master’s degree from Chicago State University and a School Administration and Leadership degree from National-Louis University.
“I am honored and delighted to be joining the Washington family as their new school principal,” Dr. Cardenas-Lopez said. “I’m eager to start learning and working together with the Washington community to continue building on the equity work that’s already happening and moving our Black and Latinx students to higher levels of excellence.”
Charmekia McCoy – Principal of Willard
Charmekia McCoy will lead the Willard Elementary School. An educational leader with 11 years of experience, Ms. McCoy has served as a principal for both East Elementary School and West Elementary School of District 6 in Zion, Illinois. Over the course of her career, she earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Loyola University Chicago, along with a second master’s degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education.
“I am incredibly excited to become a member of the District 65 team, as the new principal of Willard Elementary School. My educational mission has always been to ensure growth and progress for all of our students,” Ms. McCoy said regarding her new role. “I am looking forward to meeting [the Willard community] as we build upon the foundations that have been set and we plan out this next season of work.”
Teresa Quinn – Assistant Principal of Dawes
District 65’s Teresa Quinn will transition from her current role as the District’s Dean of Culture and Climate, serving kindergarten through fifth grade students, to assistant to the principal of Dawes Elementary School. Ms. Quinn will replace former Dawes assistant principal Michael Edwards in this capacity.
“[She] stood out as an extraordinary leader and we are thrilled that she will join the Dawes community as our new Assistant Principal,” Dawes Elementary principal Marlene Aponte said. “[Ms. Quinn] is passionate about helping Dawes continue its mission of creating a school environment wherein every child achieves academic success and social, emotional growth.”
Ms. Quinn has a background in social work, racial equity, special education, and leadership, with an emphasis on restorative justice practices and social emotional support.
District 65 Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton welcomed the four new hires at the Board’s May 17 meeting. “These are truly an inspiring group of individuals, and I am grateful that they are joining our District 65 community,” Dr. Horton said. “All of these individuals have in common a student-centered approach, a commitment to racial and educational equity, and honoring and building upon the unique strengths of every student.”