ISBE Names U-46’s Sanders to be Next State Superintendent

  • Date Posted
    January 31, 2023
  • Category
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced that the next State Superintendent of Education will be Tony Sanders, Ed.D., currently the superintendent of Elgin-based School District U-46. Sanders will replace Carmen I. Ayala, Ph.D.., who is retiring after a 40-year career in public education including the last four as State Superintendent.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Sanders’ appointment at a special meeting on January 31.

Sanders will take over the role in late February, according to ISBE. Krish Mohip, ISBE Deputy Education Officer, will serve as interim superintendent until then.

“Dr. Tony Sanders is an extraordinary choice for State Superintendent of Education,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Dr. Sanders’ breadth of experience as superintendent of School District U-46 and his entire background have prepared him to take on this role. His focus on innovation, social emotional development, and academic excellence make him an extraordinary pick. I can think of no better person to lead the Illinois State Board of Education as we continue to invest in, support, and elevate our students and educators.”

At U-46, Sanders expanded the district’s offerings in full-day kindergarten and dual-language programs, developed a “grow-your-own” teacher education pipeline, and improved the district’s financial standing while overseeing a $660 million operating budget. The district also  created a new alternative high school, the DREAM Academy. Sanders advocated for the effort to reform Illinois’ school funding formula and enact Evidence-Based Funding and to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“Dr. Tony Sanders has distinguished himself as a visionary leader and passionate advocate for students and educators,” said ISBE Board Chair Steven Isoye. “As the superintendent of one of Illinois’ largest school districts, he intimately understands the strengths, the policy history, and the challenges of our public schools. At U-46, he has championed equity, expanded opportunities for students, and brought innovative new programs to the district. The Board looks forward to his leadership; we are confident he will build on our record-high graduation rates and college and career readiness to continue leading Illinois’ schools in a positive direction.”

Sanders received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Springfield, his Master of Business Administration from New York Institute of Technology, his Chief School Business Official Endorsement from Northern Illinois University, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Judson University, and his Doctor of Education from Aurora University.

Interim Superintendent Mohip has served as ISBE’s deputy education officer for operational education since 2019. He chaired the Whole Child and Make SAFE Task Forces and supported the implementation of ISBE’s system of support for schools in the greatest need, while  overseeing the state’s spending of $7.8 billion in federal pandemic relief aid and other multimillion-dollar grants.