- Elementary Principal: Lovejoy Elementary School, DMPS, Des Moines, Iowa: 7/2009-
- Associate Superintendent: Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, Iowa: 2007-2009.
- Superintendent: Franklin Public Schools, Franklin, Wisconsin: 10/2004-6/2007.
- Superintendent/K-8 Principal: Fontana Jt. 8 School District, Fontana, Wisconsin: 7/2000-9/2004.
- Elementary Principal: Cooper Elementary School, Burlington, Wisconsin: 1998-2000.
- Elementary Principal: Beeson Elementary School, Dodge City, Kansas: 1995-1998.
- Asst. Principal: Jacinto City Elementary School, GPISD, Houston, Texas: 1994-1995.
- Purple Sage Elementary School, 4th grade, GPISD, Houston, Texas: 1990-1994.
- Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Learning, and Service: Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 5/2002.
- MS. Educational Management: University of Houston-Clearlake, Houston, Texas: 12/1993.
- Teaching Certification: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan: 4/1990.
- BBA. Management/General Business: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan: 8/1987.
- Professional Administrator License: Pre-8 Administrator, K-12 Superintendent & AEA Administrator, K-12 Principal and Teacher/ADMN Evaluator I&II, Iowa: 2014.
- Standard Teaching License: K-6 Teacher, Elementary class; K-8 English/LA, K-8 Science: Iowa, 2013.
- Professional License: Building Administrator K-9, Superintendent K-12: Kansas, 2013.
- Minnesota Dept of Education: K-12 Principal License, 2007-2009. In the process of obtaining a new license. Folder#: 366962.
- Superintendent/Principal Certification K-12: Wisconsin, 2012.
- Texas Teacher Certificate: Elementary English and Self-contained instruction 1-8; Mid-Management Administrator: Pre-K-12; life endorsement.
- Michigan Department of Education: K-5 all subjects; K-8 self-contained; 6-8 General Science and English, 1996.
- Graduate course: School Business Management: EDU 584. Cardinal Stritch University, winter session 2002.
Educational Leadership Consultant – Szakacs Consulting, LLC.
I serve as President and CEO of a small Educational Leadership Consulting firm specializing in leadership coaching, searches, and solutions. The firm provides a host of executive leadership services, professional development training sessions, and motivational speaking engagements for school board members, superintendents, principals, private businesses, colleges, and universities.
Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, Iowa
Associate Superintendent: NE region, 2007-2009:
Associate/Regional Superintendent of DMPS providing instructional and leadership support to the northeast region, which consists of: two high schools, four middle schools, and 13 elementary schools. The northeast region of DMPS serves approximately 11 thousand diverse learners Pre-K-12. Due to budget constraints, the position was eliminated in the spring of 09 during the restructuring of DMPS’ Central Office.
- Assist and support CEO with the daily operations of DMPS, which consists of 31 thousand students, 60 plus schools divided among three regions in the city of Des Moines.
- Provided leadership coaching, support, supervision and professional evaluation and program support to one K-8 Executive Director, one Gear Up Coordinator, one Director of Nursing, one Director of ELL Services, 19 Principals, one SINA Advisor, and one AEA Director who assisted me with professional leadership development and training for Principals, Asst. Principals, and Deans.
- Ensured implementation of PLC (Professional Learning Communities) model/framework with all the northeast regional schools K-12.
- Assisted in writing the DMPS Curriculum Monitoring Report K-12 for DMPS Board of Education.
- Collaborated with Instructional Cabinet team members on the preparation and presentation of the annual budget report to the BOE – annual operating budget 400 million.
- Implemented 9th grade Academy at East High School after conducting a year-long learning/needs assessment. Current program serves 600 freshman students.
- Ensured the implementation of the District’s Ends’ statements in collaboration with the entire Instructional Cabinet team.
- Represented the northeast region at several community functions, high school graduation ceremonies, board meetings, leadership training sessions, committee projects, cabinet meetings and school events.
- Served on the Teacher Quality Planning Committee
- Ensured the implementation of two new IB programs at the elementary (Stowe) and middle (Goodrell) school level effective fall of 2009.
- Represented the northeast region at all expulsion meetings, IEP/behavior management planning sessions, and alternative education placement meetings.
Franklin Public Schools, Franklin, Wisconsin
Superintendent of a K-12 rural/suburban school district consisting of 4, 716 students, seven schools (five K-6 elementary, one 7-8 middle, and one high school) located on the south-side of Milwaukee County, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- School board governance: collaborated with a seven-member Board of Education providing oversight and implementation of school board policies and direction of the school system. In addition, supervised 22 school leaders who served on the Admin Team.
- Provided leadership and guidance on several district initiatives as chair: Referendum Steering Committee, a 76 million dollar building projects referendum, Summer School Debriefing Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Community and Growth Planning Committee, which consisted of completing a growth/management action plan/study to monitor student enrollment, programs, and school services.
- Hosted and presented 20 plus referendum/community information campaign sessions throughout the city of Franklin.
- Provided coaching, support, evaluation, and guidance to seven principals, three asst. principals, four department directors, seven board members, and six support staff.
- Prepared, planned, and hosted professional development training sessions for the Admin Team and BOE
- Ensured the implementation of the new School Improvement Plan
- Ensured the implementation of the PLC collaboration model K-12
- Ensured follow-up and completion of goals set forth in the district’s Strategic Operating Plan
- Completed CLRP (Citizens for Long Range Planning) study in preparation for April 2007 referendum as approved by the BOE
- Completed 6-8 Grade Alignment Study as approved by the BOE
- Served on the Franklin Education Foundation as a representative at multiple community functions
- Collaborated with Business Manager on oversight of a 53 million dollar annual operating budget
- Completed High School Alternative Ed. Study for future district planning
- Chaired Superintendent/Parent Advisory Committee
- Facilitated annual BOE retreat to establish goals, policy reviews and committee assignments
Fontana Jt.8 School District, Fontana, Wisconsin
Superintendent/K-8 Principal, 2000-2004:
Superintendent and K-8 Principal of a rural/affluent school community (one K-8 elementary and middle school, 350 students) located on the west end of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
- School board engagement: collaborated with a five-member school board providing oversight of school district policies and district operations; assisted in preparing academic data and policy review documents for the BOE.
- Ensured the completion of a intensive School Consolidation study
- Increased fund balance (during a time of continuous declining student enrollment) by 30% over four years
- Prepared and planned all professional development for the teaching faculty and staff
- HR Director: responsible for recruiting, evaluating, training, and supervising all school district personnel
- Monitored and evaluated all curriculum/instructional materials on an annual basis
- Previous chair of BFASA (Big Foot Area Schools Association) Superintendents’ Committee – monthly meetings
- Provided oversight to a three million dollar annual operating budget
- Prepared all school board reports, community newsletters, educational forum topics and research; prepared and analyzed bid packages for vendor orders.
- Assisted BOE with all functions of the collective bargaining process: contract negotiations, labor management issues, preparation of bargaining proposals for BOE with certified and non-certified staff
- Monitored the implementation of the district’s Technology Plan
- Monitored the implementation of the district’s Building/Maintenance Plan
- Transportation representative – negotiated bus contracts on a semi-annual basis with selected bus companies
- Facilitated annual school board retreats
- Supervised 40 teaching/staff members
- Collaborated on BFASA grant opportunities
- Chaired BFASA Calendar Committee
- Designed a new GT program for full implementation in 2001
- Assisted Guidance Counselor with the development of a new comprehensive guidance program in 2003
Burlington Area School District, Burlington, Wisconsin
Principal, Cooper Elementary School, 1998-2000:
K-5 Principal serving 470 students, three office staff, 31 teachers and 13 support personnel. Responsibilities included implementing quality instructional programs and enhancing community engagement – parent and community participation increased 30% during my time served as principal. In addition, increased reading and math achievement by 15% over two years.
USD 443, Dodge City, Kansas
Principal, Beeson Elementary School, 1995-1998:
K-5 Principal of a technology/magnet school of 400 students, four office staff, 28 teachers and 15 support personnel. I was selected from 40 candidates to open this new elementary school. Within three years, student achievement increased in multiple categories for a very diverse student population by developing an instructional team of 28 forced transferred teachers and support staff into a productive professional learning community.
Galena Park ISD, Houston, Texas
Assistant Principal, Jacinto City Elementary School, 1994-1995:
Assisted and supported the Principal by providing instructional leadership of a multicultural elementary school of 1000 students, four office staff, six grade level chairs, 70 teachers, and 10 support personnel. Major responsibilities focused on evaluating teachers, designing a new behavior management plan, and facilitating professional development training sessions for teachers and staff members.
Galena Park ISD, Houston, Texas
4th grade Teacher @ Purple Sage Elementary School, 1990-1994:
I served as a fourth grade teacher at a K-5 multicultural school of 900 students. Team taught with a focus on math and science in partnership with six other 4th grade teachers. In addition, I served on several committees including the Principal’s Building Leadership Team.
Publications, Presentations, Recognitions, and Papers presented
- Finalist for Director of Public Education for the state of Iowa - 2010.
- DMPS Curriculum K-12 Monitoring Report/presentation of report to BOE, spring 2008.
- Prepared speech and guest speaker at North HS banquet, November 21, 2007.
- Dissertation: Principal Perceptions of their Performance Evaluation Experience. A study of Public School Principals in the state of Wisconsin. April 12, 2002. Dissertation submitted to Pro Quest Learning for publication.
- District Growth and Planning Report: invited report and presentation to FBOE (Franklin Board of Education), January 2007.
- Citizens for Long Range Planning Report: invited report and presentation to FBOE, April 2006.
- Grade Alignment Study: invited report and presentation to FBOE, March 2005.
- Alternative Ed. Study: invited report and presentation to FBOE, April 2005.
- Reading Curriculum Study: invited paper and presentation to Burlington Board of Education, March 2000.
- Science Curriculum Report: invited paper and presentation to USD 443 BOE, November 1996.
- Activity Networks: invited paper and presentation to the Principals Training Workshop GPISD, April 1995.
- High Teacher Turnover and its effects on GPISD: invited paper and presentation to graduate students in Ed. Leadership at the University of Houston, spring 1994.
- The Effects of Cooperative Learning on Student Achievement in a Fourth Grade Math Classroom (unpublished Master’s thesis). Invited paper and presentation to the graduate students in Ed. Leadership at the University of Houston-Clearlake, spring 1993.
- A study of the Mentor/Mentee Program for GPISD. Presented research findings to the Director of Elementary Education, fall 1993.
Professional Leadership Training
- CPI (Child Protection and Intervention) Training, February 2011, DMPS.
- Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Executive Leadership Training - 2010-2011, DMPS.
- Flip Flippen Leadership/Organizational Systems training - 2010
- Capturing Kids Hearts - Child-Centered Training Sessions - June 2010
- REMS Training (Readiness and Emergency Management) hosted by DMPS, August 18, 2009.
- Gear Up National Conference, July 20-23, 2008. Washington, DC.
- Grandview College – completion of two courses towards administrative license: Special Education and Diversity/Human Relations in a Pluralistic Society, June 2008.
- Cultural Competency Training, May 1, 2008. West Des Moines, Iowa.
- City/Ambassador trip to Kofu, Japan in honor of 50 years of Student Exchange Program between DMPS and Kofu, April 6-9, 2008. Selected by CEO to represent DMPS.
- Rice University International Baccalaureate Workshop, March 2-4, 2008. Houston, Texas.
- Gear Up Conference, February 9-13, 2008.
- Artful Learning training/presentation by Flip Flippen, January 21, 2008. Des Moines, Iowa.
- Zaner-Blozer National Superintendents’ Leadership Conference, October 4-6, 2007. Stanford University.
- Infinite Campus software training, August 2007. Des Moines, Iowa.
- RTI (Response Team Interventions) Training with Dr. Parossi: March 9, 2007. Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- Student/Teacher Engagement Training – Gallup Organization: February 26, 2007. Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- SWSA (Southwest School Alliance Association) Parent Advocacy Training Session: February 8, 2007. Waukesha, Wisconsin.
- WASB (Wisconsin Association of School Boards) State Conference: January 17-19, 2007. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- WSBA School Law Conference: October 20, 2006: Madison, Wisconsin.
- Rick Stiggin’s Assessment Conference: July 9-12, 2006. Portland, Oregon.
- CSU Leadership Seminar: June 26-28, 2006. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- NSBA (National School Boards Association) Conference: April 7-10, 2006. Chicago, Ill.
- AASA (American Association of School Administrators) Conference: February 24-26, 2006. San Diego, California.
- Strategic Planning Workshop-Cambridge Model: January 30-February 3, 2006. Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- NSBA Conference: April 15-18, 2005. San Diego, California.
- Consensus Bargaining Training: January 27th and March 9th, 2005. Franklin, Wisconsin.
- School Law Seminar: January 19, 2005. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- AWSA (Association of Wisconsin School Administrators – Principals) presentation of dissertation: October 31, 2003. Green Bay, Wisconsin.
- WASDA (Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators) Political Seminar: October 9-10, 2003. Madison, Wisconsin.
- WASDA Legal Seminar: July 29-31, 2003. Door County, Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin Leadership Academy Seminar: July 9-11, 2003. Green Bay, Wisconsin.
- WASDA Education Conference: March 7-9, 2003. Appleton, Wisconsin.
- AASA Conference: February 21-24, 2003. New Orleans, Louisiana.
- CPR Training: January 31, 2003. Fontana, Wisconsin.
- WASB State Conference: January 22-24, 2003. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- CSU Leadership, Learning and Service-Ed.D program: 1999-2002.
- NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) Conference: March 1999. San Francisco, California.
- Grant Writing Workshop: November 13, 1998. Brookfield, Wisconsin.
- Working with Aggressive Children Workshop: November 10, 1998. Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- Stephen R. Covey Leadership Training Seminar: September 11, 1998. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- NABE (National Association of Bilingual Educators) Conference: Dallas, Texas 1998.
- Improving Student Performance: District In-service Training: February 16, 1998. USD 443. Dodge City, Kansa.
- USA (United School Administrators) Conference: January 28-30, 1998. Wichita, Kansas.
- Ed Barlow’s Leadership Seminar (six hours): January 19, 1998. Dodge City, Kansas.
- NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Mid-west Conference: November 20-22, 1997. Denver, Colorado.
- Under Achievement Epidemic (six hour seminar): October 20, 1997. Salina, Kansas.
- “What Price Leadership” August 28, 1997. Garden City, Kansas.
- Reading Research Seminar by Dr. Donna Scalon, NYU of Albany. July 21-25, 1997. Beeson Elementary School, Dodge City, Kansas.
- ASCD (Association of School Curriculum Development) National Leadership Conference: March 21-25, 1997. Baltimore, Maryland.
- Performance Evaluation Workshop: presented by Iowa State University. December 3, 1996. Dodge City, Kansas.
- Student Assistance Team Training Seminar: Kansas State Board of Education. November 12-13, 1996. Lawrence, Kansas.
- Improving Education of LEP (Limited English Proficient) Students: University of Oklahoma. September 11-12, 1996. St. Louis, Missouri.
- Effective Schools Conference: May 1-3, 1996. Wichita, Kansas.
- National Committee of School Desegregation Seminar: March 28-31, 1996. Chicago, ILL.
- Stephen R. Covey Training Seminar on Principal-Centered Leadership: GPISD 1994-95. Houston, Texas.
- DuPont Leadership Training Seminars on Effective Management Practices: GPISD 1993-94. Houston, Texas.
- Member of AASA 2000-
- Member of School Administrators of Iowa 2007-
- Member of NAESP 2007-
- Member of ASCD/Educational Leadership 2004-