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Waco ISD Superintendent announces retirement

WACO, TX (June 6, 2024)--In a letter to the Waco ISD Board of Trustees, Dr. Susan Kincannon

announced that she plans to retire as superintendent effective September 30, 2024. Her career

spans 34 years in public education, including more than a decade serving as a superintendent.

She has been the superintendent of Waco ISD since August 2019.

Kincannon began her career in public education in 1990 as an elementary teacher at Scott

Elementary in Temple ISD. From her first day in the classroom to today, Kincannon credits her

fourth grade teacher with inspiring her focus on students.

“I know the difference that a teacher can make in a child’s life, because Mrs. Killingsworth, my

fourth grade teacher, made that difference in my life,” Kincannon said. “She was a phenomenal

teacher, but more than anything I remember how she made me feel. She saw my potential, and

she made me feel special. That’s why what we do in our public schools matters so much. As

educators, we have the opportunity to make that difference for our students – to truly see their

potential and to help them know that they are special.”

Kincannon grew up in the Central Texas area and graduated from Copperas Cove High School.

She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a master’s degree

in educational administration from Tarleton State University, and a doctorate in curriculum and

instruction from Baylor University.

Kincannon became a school administrator in 1995 serving as an assistant principal at Travis

Middle School and Principal at Cater Elementary, both in Temple ISD. In 2000, she moved to

Belton ISD to serve as an intermediate school principal. Then in 2002, she was promoted to the

assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction before being tapped for the district’s

deputy superintendent and the superintendent position in 2011, serving through 2019.

Since coming to Waco ISD, Kincannon has been credited with creating systems and structures

to improve academic achievement, improving teacher retention rates, building leadership

capacity, and fostering a supportive learning environment for all students. The number of

campuses offering comprehensive dual language instruction has grown to nine in just two years

of a five-year strategic implementation plan. The number of students dropping out has gone

down since 2020 overall, with decreases also seen within specific groups such as special

education, emergent bilingual and homeless students. The number of national scholar awardsby the College Board has increased exponentially with nearly 50 students on track to be

recognized this fall.

In addition to improving the systems and structures in place to support academic outcomes for

students, Kincannon led the effort in 2021 to secure voter approval of a $355 million bond

program to replace Waco High, G.W. Carver Middle, Tennyson Middle and Kendrick Elementary

and to renovate South Waco Elementary.

“For far too long, some students had comfortable, modern schools while others attended old

schools with leaky roofs, inadequate heating and cooling systems, and other problems,”

Kincannon said. “When these new facilities are completed, every secondary student in Waco

ISD will have a safe, modern learning environment, and we will have taken a significant step

toward making our elementary campuses more equitable too.”

School board members have observed that Kincannon raised the trajectory of the district

during a time of unprecedented challenges and change in education, including during the

COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dr. Kincannon has said many times over the last five years, ‘I’m not interested in politics. I’m

focused on taking care of kids,’ and the systems, supports and results she and her team have

achieved during her time as Superintendent demonstrate just that,” WISD Board of Trustees

President Stephanie Korteweg said. “The Board and I are truly grateful for all that she has done

and how she has led from the heart for our schools and this community.”

In light of Kincannon’s announcement, the Waco ISD Board of Trustees has called a special

meeting for Tuesday, June 11, at 1:30 p.m. to begin the process of hiring the district’s next

superintendent.

“The Board of Trustees is deeply saddened about the news of her retirement, yet are extremely

thankful for Dr. Kincannon and her leadership over these last 5 years,” Korteweg said.

“Waco

ISD is making huge strides in academic achievement, attendance, athletics, fine arts, and just

about every program we offer. The Board of Trustees wants to assure the community that this

board is focused on continuing to build on her accomplishments and honoring what we have

achieved as a district to this point.”