McCanless officially becomes Cleveland ISD’s superintendent, board reviews plans for new administration office

Cleveland ISD Superintendent Stephen McCanless signs his contract as Board President Willie Carter looks on.

Cleveland ISD’s board of trustees on Wednesday, March 2, named Stephen McCanless the District’s new superintendent.

School Board President Willie Carter thanked McCanless for his excellent job performance over the last four months as interim superintendent. He previously was executive director of operations and high school principal.

“I can’t think of a better district to give my time to,” McCanless responded, adding thanks to the capable Cleveland ISD staff for making his job easier. “It’s an honor after nine years with the District to be selected by the board to serve the staff and students. I will continue to focus on making Cleveland ISD the best it can be.”

McCanless was named the lone finalist for the superintendent position in early February. However, Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period after naming a lone finalist before a superintendent can be officially named.

After signing his contract as superintendent, McCanless and the board returned to the only other item of business on the agenda – reviewing the design for the District’s new administration building. The 50,000 square-foot building, designed by Huckabee Inc., will be constructed on a 12-acre lot directly across Houston Street from Cleveland High School, next to Tractor Supply.

Construction of the new administration building is being funded through a $198 million bond that was approved by voters in 2019. The project will go out for bids in August 2022 and construction is projected to be wrapped up by November 2023.

The bottom floor of the two-story building will have offices for administration services and support, human resources, operations, staff development, a superintendent’s suite, conference rooms and a new boardroom for school board meetings. The second floor will have offices for the business office and curriculum development.

“With this facility, the District could invite other school districts over for meetings for the region,” an architect for Huckabee explained.

The design factors in room for growth as Cleveland ISD continues to be the fastest-growing school district in the state.

“We expect to one day need a satellite office in the south where a lot of the growth is occurring,” another representative from Huckabee explained.

McCanless said after the meeting that Huckabee was able to trim down the size of the building substantially, which should reduce the overall cost of the building by as much as $3 million.

The board is expected to approve the design at the next meeting on March 7.


  1. CISD has also built schools for a certain number of students and we have already outgrown that! Same has happened with the Campbell Building. Would love advise on what you think the school should be doing different? The Campbell Building was a great investment anyway you look at it….It will” be useful to CISD. Had it been wiser to wait and buy it later and pay more? Property in Cleveland is not easy to come by!

  2. For starters, CISD should have done their homework on the Campbell Building. Perhaps they would have found there were integrity issues with the building and avoided making the purchase. Yes. The property value has increased, but that is an inflated number to increase tax revenue without a tax increase.

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