After serving three months as interim superintendent for Cleveland ISD, Stephen McCanless was named the lone finalist for superintendent by the District’s board of trustees Monday night.
McCanless is no stranger to Cleveland ISD having worked for the District for more than nine years. He previously was executive director of operations under former Superintendent Chris Trotter and has held positions within the District as high school principal, coordinator of student affairs and director of administrative services.
McCanless has 26 years in education, with 17 of those in administrative roles. Prior to joining Cleveland ISD, he began his teaching career in 1996 in Deer Park ISD. In 2005, he was promoted to assistant principal for Channelview ISD and promoted to principal in 2007.
He earned his undergraduate degree in literature from the University of Houston in Clear Lake. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in education at the university. In 2009, he earned his superintendent certification.
As lone finalist, McCanless will have to wait the state-mandated 21 days before becoming superintendent. His official start date in the new role is March 1, though his role as interim superintendent has him already managing the District.
McCanless said he is extremely excited to serve the staff, students and community of Cleveland ISD.
“My philosophy is that all kids can learn and we are going to support them in this endeavor,” he said.
Cleveland ISD Board President Willie Carter feels that McCanless was the best choice for the top job within the District and is looking forward to working more closely with him in the future.
“Stephen has been with the District for going on 10 years. He understands the issues we are having and have had in the past. He has proven to me, with all of his cost savings over the past three months, that he has the best interests of the school district in mind. He has brought some stability to the District as superintendent,” Carter said.
Some of these cost-savings initiatives by McCanless include rearranging positions and eliminating redundancy without the loss of a single job. This included switching some administrative positions to teaching positions for the new campuses that will be opening soon in the Plum Grove area.
Bluebonnet News will share more of McCanless’s cost-savings plans in a separate article.