Placed Leaders

Tony Sanders

State Superintendent of Education

Illinois State Board of Education

We partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to recruit its next State Superintendent of Education.

ISBE sets educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools, preschool through grade 12, as well as vocational education. It analyzes the aims, needs and requirements of education and recommends legislation to the General Assembly and the Office of the Governor for the benefit of the approximately 2 million school children in Illinois.

The search resulted in the appointment of Dr. Tony Sanders to the role.

Dr. Sanders has over three decades of government and education experience.

Prior to being appointed to the role, Dr. Sanders served as the superintendent of U-46, which is headquartered in Elgin and is the second-largest school district in Illinois. He added full-day kindergarten for all students and implemented a developmentally appropriate play-based instructional program. Dr. Sanders grew the district’s dual language program and created a new alternative high school, the DREAM Academy, to reduce expulsions and better serve students in need of trauma-informed care. He also invested in a grow-your-own educator initiative to provide educational support professionals the ability to return to school to earn their teaching credentials. The initiative has supported more than 60 U-46 employees in receiving full tuition reimbursement as they work toward their teacher licensure. Dr. Sanders improved the district’s financial standing, while overseeing a $660 million operating budget.

Before becoming the U-46 superintendent in 2014, Dr. Sanders served as the district’s chief of communications and accountability and then chief of staff. He also previously served as the chief communications officer for St. Louis Public Schools and in communications and governmental relations roles within Illinois government, including at ISBE.

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

We invite you to read the announcement here.