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Pritzker appoints Isoye to serve as Illinois State Board of Education chair

Appointment comes following a decorated career of service in the classroom and in administration

Dr. Steven Isoye

Governor JB Pritzker has appointed Dr. Steven Isoye, an accomplished former educator and superintendent to chair the Illinois State Board of Education effective immediately. Dr. Isoye follows in the footsteps of Darren Reisberg, who served as chair through the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The leadership team at Illinois State Board of Education spends each day working to provide a high-quality educational experience for every student in Illinois, no matter their zip code or income level,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “By adding an exceptional educator and person in Dr. Steven Isoye to the best educational leadership team in America, we are ensuring that goal will be met in every corner of the state.”

“It’s an honor to be appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education and serve as the Chairperson,” said. Dr. Steven Isoye. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala to foster an academic environment in which every student in the state can be successful.”

“On behalf of the Board and the agency, we wholeheartedly welcome Dr. Isoye as the incoming chair of the State Board of Education,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Dr. Isoye is a distinguished lifelong educator – a former Illinois Teacher of the Year, former school principal, and retired district superintendent. He brings invaluable perspective and experience to the role. Serving as a Board chair takes patience, integrity, a collaborative spirit, and an ability to listen to different viewpoints, while upholding the mission, vision, and values of the Board. Dr. Isoye has all of these qualities and more. I look forward to partnering with Dr. Isoye to lead the agency in serving and supporting Illinois’ students as they recover from the pandemic and pursue academic excellence.”

Dr. Isoye is a retired educator and administrator who holds degrees in biology, educational administration, and educational leadership from Northern Illinois University and a degree in curriculum from Concordia University. with his most recent experience coming as Superintendent of Niles Township High School District 219. Prior to that, he served as Superintendent of Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200, Principal at Maine East High School and Warren Township High School, and Department Chair at Highland Park High School, where he taught for three years. He also taught chemistry, biology, and physical science across twelve years at Deerfield High School, Warren Township High School, The Latin School of Chicago, and Loyola Academy.

In addition to his experience in the classroom and in administration, Dr. Isoye served on numerous boards and committees throughout his distinguished career. This includes serving as chair, vice chair, of the board of trustees at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and member of the Illinois State Board of Education’s State Assessment Review Committee, Illinois Association of School Administrators COVID SWAT Team, and the Illinois State Board of Education’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee, on which he currently serves. He is also a member of the Educational League of Illinois, Illinois Association for School Administrators, American Association of School Administrators, National State Teachers of the Year, and Illinois State Teachers of the year.

As a renowned public speaker, Dr. Isoye has been invited to deliver keynote remarks and facilitate discussions on a wide variety of topics. This includes a roundtable discussion on Adult Transition Services at a National Superintendents Forum in 2021, a keynote speech on Japanese Internment Camps in 2020 at Coming Together in Skokie, and a presentation on teacher recruitment and retention at the National Superintendents Forum in October 2021.

He has also received numerous honors including Illinois High School Principal of the Year in 2010, Illinois Teacher of the Year in 1998, Jackson Scholar in 2006, Milken Foundation National Educator award in 1997, and Illinois Science Teachers’ Association Award of Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching in both 1993 and 1995.

The Illinois State Board of Education’s mission is to provide each and every child with safe and healthy learning conditions, great educators, and equitable opportunities by practicing data-informed stewardship of resources and policy development, all done in partnership with educators, families, and stakeholders.

This appointment awaits confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

Dr. Steven Isoye, shown. (Photo courtesy Niles West News)

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