Waco, TX - Midway ISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas has been named the 2018 Region 12 Superintendent of the Year and regional nominee for the Texas Superintendent of the Year. Kazanas has served as superintendent of Midway ISD since 2012 and as an educator for 27 years. The native Central Texan also received this highly esteemed recognition in 2004, while serving as superintendent in China Spring ISD.
“We are delighted to recognize Dr. Kazanas as one of the top superintendents in the state of Texas,” Executive Director of ESC Region 12 Dr. Jerry Maze said. “He was chosen by a committee of school board members from around our region for his skilled leadership and unwavering commitment to his students, staff and community. We are proud to have him represent our region at the state level.”
Kazanas has overseen a number of innovative, forward-thinking instructional programs and impactful student support services. Innovative programs include the district’s 1-to-1 technology program, flexible learning environments and collaborative research partnerships with Baylor University. His careful planning and implementation of these programs have led to remarkable successes. Midway ISD has grown in the number of distinctions each year since the inception of STAAR, celebrated dozens of state leadership awards and expanded the number of students taking college entrance exams while achieving record numbers of National Merit Scholars. In the area of support programs, Midway provides a full-day Pre-K program at no cost to families, an affordable after school program and a weekend food supply program for those in need. To combat disciplinary placements in alternative settings, the district has developed restorative discipline plans, resulting in a 75 percent reduction in expulsions. Staff also provides outreach and interventions, such as community partnerships, home visits and parent classes to strengthen family support and combat chronic absenteeism.
Board members and staff describe Kazanas as being an authentic, dependable, fiscally-conservative and innovative instructional leader. He consistently invests in the growth and success of those who serve Midway students and collaborates with administrators on training and goals for campus principals. He recently led the charge to develop long term strategic planning, involving more than one thousand community members through surveys and focus groups. Under his guidance and support, a community collaboration for school safety has led to a nationally-recognized security program, in which two local police departments work closely to enhance safety, reduce response times and advise the district’s security procedures.
“We are excited and proud of George for this well-deserved recognition,” President of Midway ISD Board of Trustees Pete Rusek said. “In the time that George has been superintendent at MISD, there have been many noteworthy accomplishments and achievements, both for him individually and for the district. Any one of these would be worthy of recognition of this caliber, and yet we are blessed to have endless celebrations and successes due to his leadership.”
Rusek says that Kazanas works tirelessly with others to promote a common voice, shared values and cohesive sense of community. This collaboration allowed the district to facilitate solutions for overarching issues, such as childhood hunger, safety, mental health and economic growth. In addition to serving on the Waco Chamber and Hewitt Chamber of Commerce Boards, Kazanas was instrumental in organizing Prosper Waco. This group works with schools, business leaders and others to improve societal issues related to education, health, and financial security. As a servant leader, he invites and encourages team members and students to serve the community through volunteer programs and charity fundraisers.
His leadership and impact on education reach far beyond the doors of Midway ISD. His commitment to the advancement of Texas public education is evident through the many programs he serves. For example, Kazanas serves on the long-range planning steering committee for the State Board of Education, which is working to develop recommendations for the future of Texas public education. Kazanas also teaches and mentors future administrators through Baylor University’s educational leadership doctoral program and serves as a superintendent mentor, making his impact on education leaders for years to come.
Kazanas is a product of Central Texas public schools, growing up in and teaching in West ISD and later serving in leadership positions in China Spring ISD. Prior to joining Midway ISD, Kazanas served as superintendent of Wichita Falls ISD and China Spring ISD. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Tarleton State University, a Master of Science in educational administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration with teacher certification from Baylor University.
Kazanas and his wife Kim reside in Woodway and have two grown sons, both Midway graduates.
Kazanas will serve as the Region 12 nominee for the 2018 Texas Superintendent of the Year award presented by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The state winner will be announced in September at the TASA/TASB Convention.
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