As superintendent of Peoria Public Schools, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat oversees 27 schools and 13,000 students in the largest K-12 district in the region. Prior to beginning this role in July 2015, she spent two years as associate superintendent of Danville District 118 and two years as transformation officer in Springfield Public Schools—but her home has long been in Peoria.
Originally from Dominica, West Indies, and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dr. Kherat completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Bradley University before earning her education doctorate (Ed.D.) in P-12 administration from Illinois State University. She joined Peoria Public Schools in 1998 and has steadily worked her way up the ranks—serving as a middle-school teacher, assistant principal of Roosevelt Magnet School, and principal of Whittier Primary and Manual High School. During her tenure at Whittier, it was named a national Blue Ribbon School, defying the odds as a high-performing, high-poverty school—one of her life’s proudest achievements.
During her time away from Peoria, Dr. Kherat was greatly missed, and the community did not forget about her. “Being asked to come back home,” she notes, was a humbling moment—and the next great step in her career journey. She believes that schools can’t do it alone, but together a community can. “Good things happen when the public is involved and citizens feel ownership, shared responsibility and accountability for results… no matter how many principals or superintendents come and go.”
A wife, mother and nature lover, Dr. Kherat loves taking a brisk walk to unwind after a long day. She is compassionate, adventurous and hard-working, and her indomitable spirit is perhaps her most marked characteristic. Her 2020-2025 vision for Peoria Public Schools is focused on “reimagining schools.”
- Nobody in my office knows… I was a roller-skating champion as a teenager.
- Secret ambition: To become an inventor.
- Words to live by: Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; Always do your best; Be impeccable with your words (from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills).
- Famous person, dead or alive, I’d like to meet: Harriet Tubman. I would love to hear her stories.
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I would put all of the bad people in time-out for a year.
- Would you rather be rich or famous? Why? Famous, for helping to make the world a better place.
- Favorite artist: Mighty Sparrow, the “Calypso King of the World.”
- What is it that you most dislike? Fakeness.
- What’s some of the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- What is your biggest pet peeve? Accusations with no merit. PM