News Local/State

Demoted Urbana School Official Moves To New Post With Champaign Unit 4

Dr Howard School in Champaign

Dr Howard School in Champaign Travis Stansel

Dr. Jennifer Ivory-Tatum, the school administrator whose planned demotion caused controversy in the Urbana school district, is taking a job with the Champaign school district.

The Champaign Unit Four school board approved the appointment of Ivory-Tatum as an assistant superintendent at its Monday night meeting.  She’ll start her new post this summer, in charge of Achievement and Student Learning. 

Ivory-Tatum is a University of Illinois alumnus who had previously worked at Unit Four schools as a teacher in the 1990's. Her background also includes teaching positions as Canaan Academy in Urbana, and Chicago's Walt Disney Magnet School.

Ivory-Tatum had been a deputy superintendent at the Urbana school district, but was scheduled to be moved into a grade school principal’s position to replace a retiring principal. That brought protesters to her defense at school board meetings in February and March. Many of them questioned the motives for demoting the only African-American woman to hold an administrative position at the Urbana school district. Urbana district superintendent Don Owen backed away from the planned demotion a couple of weeks later.

Owen told the News-Gazette that he thanked Ivory-Tatum for her years of service in Urbana, and wished her the best at her new post in Champaign.