Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Board
Announces Dr. Andalib Khelghati as Superintendent of Schools
Oswego, Ill. (June 14, 2023) - The Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Board of Education is pleased to announce the unanimous (6-0 vote) approval of Dr. Andalib Khelghati as the next Superintendent of Schools, to begin on July 1, 2023. With the approval of a three-year employment contract, this concludes the nationwide search for a successor following the retirement announcement of Superintendent Dr. John W. Sparlin. The Board thanks the many students, parents, staff and community members who participated in providing feedback to the Board as they conducted the search. “Dr. Khelghati is equally an educational systems and culture change agent, with a focus on fiscal responsibility,” said LaTonya Simelton, Board President. “He’s a strategic thinker and leads from a lens that “students don’t fail, systems fail.”
Dr. Khelghati will come to SD 308 with decades of experience in the field of education. He served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools and then Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of Evanston/Skokie School District 65. Beginning his career as a teacher, moving to a school leader, then district administrator, Dr. Khelghati has retained a commitment to creating equitable learning environments enabling all children to excel and develop to their full capacities. “Dr. Khelghati is an experienced and proven educational leader and the board looks forward to the progress he will make toward the vision for our students and district as the new Superintendent of SD 308”, said President Simelton.
Beyond his education career, Dr. Khelghati is a founding board member of Books and Breakfast, a non-profit dedicated to providing students an enriched tutoring program, mentorship and access to a healthy breakfast prior to the start of the school day. As an African American with Persian heritage, he was born in Togo and lived in various countries including Kenya, Canada and Israel. Dr. Khelghati brings a unique local and global perspective to his work as an educator. He speaks three languages, (English, French, Persian). This diverse cultural journey allows him to connect with students, parents, and staff from different backgrounds, fostering unity and a sense of belonging within the educational institutions he leads. "I am looking forward to working with all members of the community to celebrate and ensure the success of each and every child."
Dr. Khelghati's post-secondary education began at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Thought and Political Economy. He then pursued a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary Education from Columbia University's Teachers College in New York. He added a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, enhancing his understanding of the transformative power of trust in instructional improvement.
After teaching third and sixth grade and working closely with teachers as a literacy coach, Dr. Khelghati took on an assistant principal role in the heart of Chicago’s South Side, skillfully navigating the challenges of a complex educational landscape while fostering a positive and nurturing school climate. While there, he assisted in securing a $4 million grant for before/after school programming.
Dr. Khelghati then began in Evanston as a principal where he led for six years. Under his leadership, Dewey Elementary thrived as a center of professional learning innovation, and racial and inclusive community engagement. He spearheaded a two-year initiative that improved vocabulary learning across grade levels, leading to improved student reading scores, as well as receiving state-level recognition for five consecutive years for a school culture built on emphasizing positive behavior.
Beginning in 2017, Dr. Khelghati served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for District 65, spearheading multiple initiatives including developing a new disciplinary policy aligned with the district’s racial equity policy, instituting new systems of learning for principals, and redesigning the district intervention program. His responsibilities included a leading role in formulating multi-year strategic plans and budgets, identifying staff development needs, evaluating and hiring principals, and fostering cooperation with labor unions.
Later in his role as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for District 65, Dr. Khelghati created staffing efficiencies leading to significant financial savings for the district. He participated in the negotiation of contract agreements with five bargaining groups, and focused on strategies to hire staff who represent the highest levels of capacity for student success. In his engagements with the school community, Dr. Khelghati always seeks to resolve concerns of parents through listening, understanding the problem, building trust, and reconnecting parents to school-level staff. In his most recent role, he supervised a teacher resident and principal development program, increasing the number of educators of color in the district. Dr. Khelghati shared the teacher residency program’s successes as a presenter at both the National Association of Black School Educators 2022 Annual Conference and the 2022 IASB Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.
Dr. Khelghati is an artist who expresses freedom, joy, and resolution in his paintings, finding inspiration from nature, life and history. He is married to a child psychologist and they are proud parents of two young sons. His children remind him daily of the importance of providing exceptional educational opportunities for future generations. He is passionate and dedicated to fostering inclusivity, promoting social justice, and improving educational outcomes for all students.