Maurice McDavid, assistant principal at Cortland Elementary school in DeKalb, has announced he'll be leaving to become principal at Turner Elementary School in West Chicago.
Maurice McDavid, assistant principal at Cortland Elementary school in DeKalb, has announced he'll be leaving to become principal at Turner Elementary School in West Chicago.

DeKALB – Maurice McDavid, DeKalb native, church pastor, DeKalb High School graduate, Cortland Elementary assistant principal and husband of D-428 Board of Education President Samantha McDavid, is leaving the school district after a decade.

"I applied, and I'll be honest, I told my wife it won't hurt to apply, I'm sure they've got lots of good candidates, but maybe at least I'll get an interview," McDavid said Friday. "My wife, being the excellent wife that she is, said 'You know, Maurice, if you apply, you're going to get that job.'"

McDavid, 31, announced his departure on Twitter late Thursday night after the West Chicago District 33 school board voted him into the principal role at Turner Elementary, where he's set to begin July 1. His last day in DeKalb is June 30. Samantha McDavid was elected to fill a four-year term beginning April of 2019. She also works in DeKalb County's Regional Office of Education in community outreach for early learning. They have three children, and a fourth (McDavid's nephew) living with them attending school in the district.

Their family is staying put, though, and Samantha McDavid's board role will not be affected. She said she's excited for her husband to grow professionally, and reiterated her commitment to DeKalb.

"When we graduated from Knox College, we knew there was no other place for us but DeKalb," she said. "DeKalb is where we want our children to be raised and DeKalb CUSD 428 is the district we want our children to attend. We love this community and plan to be here for a long time."

"I think one of the things that will be neat for her is getting the chance to continue to do what she believes is best for our district without questions about conflict of interest and all those things that have come up," McDavid said. "I'm incredibly proud of her."

Both he and his wife's DeKalb roots are deep, as they were high-school sweethearts, both 2006 DHS graduates, and made their way into significant leadership positions in the district, which made a job change all the more difficult.

"DeKalb is home," McDavid said. "We're not moving. I'm commuting. That never even crossed my mind. Our parents are here, children are here, my church is here. We are still, in many ways, serving our community here."

He began working in the district in November of 2010 as an instructional assistant, then a Spanish teacher for five years at Clinton Rosette and Huntley middle schools, then as the Dean of Students at DeKalb High School for three years, and was hired as Cortland's assistant principal in May of 2019.

"One of the things that's drawn me to elementary is I know pretty well what they need to be successful at that level," McDavid said. "Particularly with social and emotional skills, ideas like perseverance, how thought impacts our emotions and emotions impact our actions. I'm really intrigued by that challenge."

D-428 Superintendent Jamie Craven said he'll work with McDavid to ensure a smooth transition and fill the soon-vacant role.

"This is a great opportunity for Maurice to be a building principal," Craven said Friday. "He's been in the district for a long time, has been very impactful, and we're very excited for him."

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