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Kincannon named lone finalist to become Waco ISD superintendent

Her career in public education spans three decades, including the past eight years as the superintendent of Belton ISD.

WACO, Texas – Tonight, the Waco ISD Board of Trustees selected Dr. Susan Kincannon as the lone finalist to become the district’s next superintendent. Kincannon has served in public education for 30 years including stints as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and deputy superintendent. Since 2011, she has been the superintendent of Belton ISD.

“Over the past four months, our families, our employees and this community have shared their vision for the future of our schools with the school board, and I am confident that we have found someone who has the same hopes and dreams for our students,” Waco ISD Board President Angela Tekell said. “Dr. Kincannon is passionate about the students that she serves. She believes that every student deserves an education that will set them on the path to realizing their full potential. More than that, her experience, her expertise in curriculum and instruction, her knowledge of our district, and her connections to resources in our region and across the state make Dr. Kincannon the right person to lead Waco ISD forward.”

Kincannon began her career as a fifth-grade teacher at Scott Elementary in Temple ISD. From her first day in the classroom to today, Kincannon says that she has been inspired by the example of her fourth-grade teacher.

“I know the difference that a teacher can make in a child’s life, because Mrs. Kellingsworth, 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 schools matters so much. As educators, every day, 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 joined Belton ISD in July 2000 as a middle school principal. In 2002 she became the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction leading the development of the district’s curriculum for all content areas and grade levels. In that role, she also secured millions of dollars in grant funding to provide high-quality professional development for teachers and to implement enhanced instructional programs.

In 2011, Kincannon was tapped to become the superintendent of the district, which is about 40 miles south of Waco. At the time, Belton ISD had just under 9,000 students. Today, its enrollment is over 12,000 students.

“Every year, we welcome 300 to 400 new students into Belton ISD,” Belton ISD Board President Sue Jordan said. “Many of these families work other places but choose to make their home here for our schools. For the past eight years under Dr. Kincannon’s leadership, Belton ISD has been a destination school district. Her leadership has also made it a welcoming place for all of our families. Dr. Kincannon has celebrated our diversity and helped to build a genuinely inclusive culture.”

As superintendent, Kincannon expanded the academic opportunities available for students. The career and technical education program added state-of-the-art facilities for auto tech and agricultural science while the construction trades program won multiple national championships. The Superintendent Scholars Program has provided academically advanced students with unique experiences and additional support outside of the classroom.

To support growing programs and fast-growing enrollment, Kincannon also oversaw the transformation of Belton ISD’s facilities and technology infrastructure. Since 2011, Belton ISD has added two new middle schools and three elementary schools. Three other campuses were renovated and repurposed in that time, and a new high school will open next fall.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, Belton ISD launched a one-to-one technology initiative that has expanded to provide every secondary student with a dedicated device that they can use both at school and at home. Visitors from across the country and around the world have traveled to the district to learn about the initiative.

“Waco is a special place for my family,” Kincannon said. “My daughter attends Baylor University, and my husband’s company does business here. We own a home in Waco and plan to retire here. I’m excited to meet our educators, spend time on our campuses, and – most of all – to serve Waco’s families.”

By law, a school board must wait 21 days before hiring a finalist for superintendent. The Waco ISD board is scheduled to consider Kincannon’s contract during a meeting on Aug. 29.

The Belton ISD board will meet tomorrow night to discuss personnel in closed session, and their next regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19.