SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Dr. Kevin McGowan of Brighton Central Schools near Rochester, New York won this year’s Superintendent of the Year Award at the National Conference on Education.
“Thank you, first of all to the other finalists, …. to get to know you personally and professionally, what an experience,” McGowan said during the opening general session on Thursday, when the award was announced. “Thank you to [last year’s winner] Curtis Cain for showing us what it means to be a superintendent of the year and your leadership. Congratulations to you as well and the year that you’ve had representing us.”
The Superintendent of the Year Award is sponsored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, school bus contractor First Student, and Corebridge Financial, formerly known as AIG Retirement. The award celebrates the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents.
As previously reported by School Transportation News, the Brighton Central School District contracts out 100 percent of its transportation operations to various partners, First Student being one of them. Louis Alaimo, the assistant superintendent for administration, said First Student runs the district’s morning and afternoon routes as well as summer and charter services.
John Kenning, the CEO of First Student, said during the general session that this is the company’s sixth year sponsoring the award. “First Student values the opportunity to work with each and every one of you, who play a critical role in the lives of our children and the future communities,” he commented
Kenning added that he comes from a long line of educators as his sister, wife, daughter, cousins, and nieces are all teachers across the U.S. “First Student sees each of your influences by the five million student journeys that we provide every day. And we are excited that some of those are journeys are on new electric buses,” he said.
First Student is also displaying an electric school bus at the exhibitor show during the conference, which concludes Saturday.
McGowan told STN prior to his name being announced as the winner that it was a tremendous honor simply being a finalist. “This is absolutely about the collective we and not about me,” he said. “From my perspective, this honor means that we’re on the right track and that our work as a team to close gaps in achievement between groups of students is working and that the results are apparent to others.”
This year’s four finalists were selected from 50 state superintendent award winners and are judged based on their exhibited leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of McGowan to a student at the high school he graduated from or to a Brighton Central Schools high school student.
Related: Snapshot: Transportation Operations for Superintendent of Year Finalist From Georgia
Related: Snapshot: Transportation Operations Under Superintendent of Year Finalist From Illinois
Related: Snapshot: Transportation Operations Under Superintendent of Year Finalist From Minnesota
Read more about Brighton Central Schools’ transportation operations and those of the other finalist school districts. Stay tuned for more coverage in the April issue of School Transportation News.