McKINNEY (Aug. 27, 2014) — On Monday morning, Dr. J.D. Kennedy stood at the entrance of Burks Elementary, giving high-fives and welcoming McKinney youngsters back to school for the final time as superintendent of McKinney ISD.
Kennedy announced his plan to retire and tendered his resignation to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees at its monthly Regular Board Meeting on Tuesday night. The departure is effective Dec. 31. With his resignation, Kennedy concludes five years of superlative leadership as the superintendent of McKinney ISD.
“All good things at some point in time must come to an end,” said Kennedy in his letter to the Board. “I have served the schoolchildren of Texas for over 39 years, and it is time for me to begin a new chapter in my life. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve McKinney ISD as your superintendent for the past five years.” In his retirement, Kennedy plans to spend more time with his grandchildren, travel and continue his involvement in mission trips to Hungary.
During Kennedy’s tenure as superintendent, McKinney ISD has continued to move forward as a leader among Texas school districts.
“We faced many challenges over the past five years, but I think we met those challenges admirably,” Kennedy said. “We successfully passed a $191 million bond package, and we weathered the biggest cuts in funding that McKinney ISD has ever seen. Academically, we have kept our focus on designing engaging work for students, and educating the whole child from all backgrounds. We have expanded our career and technology programs, developed strong partnerships with businesses and the community and improved in our participation and performance on AP exams.”
Last year, under Kennedy’s leadership, the District completed an impressive $46 million renovation and expansion project at McKinney High School and a $17 million project at Faubion Middle School – both part of the 2011 bond package. And, all three of the district’s high schools ranked in the top 3 percent nationally in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the country’s top high schools.
Board of Trustees President Amy Dankel said, “On behalf of the Board, we feel that Dr. Kennedy has done an excellent job. He has the district headed in the right direction and has always had the best interest of every student at heart. We are going to miss his leadership. He’s devoted 39 years to education, and we’re happy to have benefited from the final years of his career at McKinney ISD.”
Joe Miniscalco, MISD Assistant Superintendent for Learner Support, has served in the district for 18 years and has worked under four different superintendents. “It has been a pleasure to serve under the leadership of Dr. Kennedy,” Miniscalco said. “He has always made teaching and learning the primary discussion for leaders in our district, and he has made it clear that as leaders we have a responsibility to promote and support the learning of all students. I think the clarity of his vision comes from his heart, which makes following him as a leader feel purposeful. He has put a lasting mark on our district.”
Dr. J.D. Kennedy
Kennedy has spent about half of his education career serving North Texas school districts. He served as superintendent of Decatur ISD and then Midlothian ISD before arriving in McKinney. He has served in leadership roles in state, regional and national professional organizations and is currently the Region 10 Education Service Center Superintendent Representative to the Texas Education Agency Commissioner’s Superintendent Cabinet.
“He is the epitome of an educator,” said Chief Financial Officer Dr. Edd Bigbee. “He is dedicated to public education and has spent his career striving to make life better for all students, staff and community members. He has brought stability and high expectations to MISD and has constantly looked for ways to enhance the learning experience for all students.”
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Rick McDaniel holds high regard not just for the work that Kennedy has done, but also for the man behind it. “Without question, Dr. Kennedy has served the citizens of McKinney extremely well in his role as superintendent. He is a man of solid character, and we have been blessed to call him our leader during his tenure in MISD. He will obviously be missed, but at the same time he has been instrumental in building a culture of creativity and high character that will define his legacy for years to come. Dr. Kennedy will be leaving McKinney as one of the more successful superintendents to serve in that role and will be remembered mostly for his humble nature and solid belief system, both of which have played a major part in setting this district on a course for even greater success in the future.”
With all that he has accomplished as a leader in education on a broad scale, the heart behind the work of Dr. J.D. Kennedy is perhaps best revealed in the smaller moments – at the front door of an elementary school on the first day of school, with a smile on his face and his hand extended toward a young student. “Welcome!”
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.