Breaking: DeKalb School District 428 names 4 superintendent finalists

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DeKalb School District 428 on Friday announced its four finalists for the vacant superintendent position ahead of four public forums slated for next week.

In an email to parents Friday afternoon, the district said it reviewed applications from 67 candidates before narrowing them down to 12 to be presented to the board. In a series of closed session meetings last week and this week, the board narrowed the list down to four candidates: Minerva Garcia-Sanchez, Johnetta Miller, Lorenzo Russell and Marcey Sorensen, according to the email.

The position was vacated after former Superintendent Jamie Craven announced his departure in April, leaving the job at the end of June for the superintendent position in Peru School District 124.

Garcia-Sanchez is a bilingual urban school district leader who brings multicultural awareness and equity to her leadership, according to the letter sent by the district. She has held multiple principal positions and was recruited to be deputy chief of the Gage Park Community Network before receiving a promotion to the Pilsen/Little Village chief of schools in July 2015. Garcia-Sanchez is completing her doctorate in urban education policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Chicago State.

Miller is currently the superintendent of West Harvey-Dixmoor School District 147 and has master’s degrees in teaching from Chicago State and educational leadership from Roosevelt University. She is completing her doctorate at Concordia. Throughout her career, Miller has held principal, human resources director and curriculum director roles. According to the letter, she led the transformation in District 147 to provide students with equity.

Russell is the area superintendent for a high school network in Cleveland. He was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago and is a Chicago Public Schools graduate. He has advanced degrees in educational leadership from Northeastern Illinois, UIC and Northern Illinois University. He also has been deputy chief of schools for CPS.

Sorensen is the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for Fort Worth (Texas) Independent School District. She also has held leadership roles at CPS and in Madison, Wisconsin. Sorensen has a bachelor’s degree from NIU, a master’s from Northeastern Illinois and a doctorate from UIC in urban educational leadership and policy studies, according to the email.

The candidates forums will be held online at 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. District 428 families and community members are encouraged to participate. Participants can access the virtual meeting forum link at meet.google.com/ich-dffk-xpg.

There is a maximum capacity of 200 participants on the Google Meet platform, so each forum also will be livestreamed on the district's YouTube channel.

Anyone with questions for the superintendent candidates must submit them in advance of the forum, with the deadline to submit questions at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the release. To submit a question, visit https://forms.gle/vTYexqyG6izVyCo26.

Because of time constraints, questions may be combined, and not all questions may be asked. Each candidate will be asked the same questions to ensure there is consistency between the finalists.

For information about the forums, email Quinn Moran at quinn@rayassoc.com.

Eddie Carifio

Has been the sports editor in DeKalb since 2014.