Former Niles Township High School District 219 Superintendent Steven Isoye has been named chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education by Governor JB Pritzker, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Isoye, who served as superintendent of District 219 high schools from July 2016 through June 30, said he was honored with the appointment. District 219 serves Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Niles.
“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,” Isoye said in the statement.
The nine-member ISBE board establishes educational policies to implement state law for public and private schools, according to ISBE spokeswoman Jackie Matthews.
Before being hired by District 219, Isoye was superintendent at Oak Park and River Forest High School from 2010 to 2016. Prior to that, he worked as both a teacher and administrator at a series of Chicago-area schools and was named Illinois Teacher of the Years in 1988.
“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,” Ayala said in the statement.
Ayala oversees the daily ISBE responsibilities, with the board providing oversight at meetings throughout the year.
District 219 was praised by Isoye’s selection to lead the state agency.
“District 219 congratulations Dr. Steven Isoye on his appointment, by Governor JB Pritzker, to serve as chairperson of the Illinois State Board of Education. We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Isoye as he serves in this important role,” District 219 spokeswoman April Stallworth wrote in an e-mail to Pioneer Press.
Isoye’s appointment will have to be confirmed by the Illinois State Senate.
He will succeed Darren Reisberg, who was named president of Oneonta, NY’s Hartwick College earlier this year.