Brighton Superintendent Dr. Kevin C. McGowan Selected as 2023 New York State School Superintendent of the Year

September 19, 2022

ALBANY, NY - The New York State Council of School Superintendents (The Council) has chosen Dr. Kevin C. McGowan as their 2023 New York State Superintendent of the Year. The Council formally announced Dr. McGowan's selection at our 2022 Fall Leadership Summit on September 19th and will fully celebrate his accomplishments and present the award at our 2023 Winter Institute in Albany on March 5-7, 2023.

Brighton Central School District will be hosting members of NYSCOSS for their official announcement at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the Central Administration Building, 2035 Monroe Ave. Members of the media are invited to the event to interview NYSCOSS Executive Director Chuck Dedrick and Dr. McGowan.

“Kevin McGowan is an extraordinary leader,” said NYSCOSS President Martha Group, the superintendent of the Vernon Verona Sherrill School District. She added, “His deep commitment to the success of all students, families, and educators is woven throughout the Brighton Central School District. It is demonstrated by the whole district’s commitment to ensuring that: 

All students feel safe, valued, included, and challenged.
Every child is advocated for and connected.
All families are engaged, respected, and appreciated partners.
Every staff member is valued, supported, inspired, and committed.”

Council President Group added, “The results of his leadership are evidenced by the widespread high esteem for Brighton’s public schools.” 

Dr. McGowan remarked, “I am beyond honored and deeply humbled by this recognition. I have the privilege of working in an incredibly supportive school community with an exceptionally talented team of leaders, educators, board of education members, and community members. Success in our work reflects a collective effort to improve outcomes for all students and our commitment to engaging all families.”

Dr. McGowan added, “Our school community is dedicated to success for each child and to do what is needed for every child, every day, in every way. I am one member of a special team who I feel is being recognized for all their hard work each and every day. I am grateful to our staff, our leadership team, our Board of Education and especially my family, for their support and commitment to this work.”

“Dr. McGowan is more than deserving of this award,” Brighton Board of Education President Larry Davis said. “With over a decade of experience serving the kids in our community, Kevin is a role model as a school leader, active community member, and proud father and husband. We as a school board are proud to work with Dr. McGowan as we strive to be better each day.”
“Kevin is an extraordinary leader. His deep commitment to the success of all students, families, and educators is woven throughout the Brighton Central School District.” 

As New York’s Superintendent of the Year, Dr. McGowan will represent New York as its nominee for national Superintendent of the Year, awarded by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) February 16-18, 2023, in San Antonio, TX.  

The candidates for Superintendent of the Year were judged on the following attributes and skills: Leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. 

Board President Davis added, “The entire school district is proud of this award. Dr. McGowan has consistently put our students first, and demonstrated a collaborative philosophy that involves students, their families, staff, and the community. Kevin is a role model in terms of his integrity, selflessness, and work ethic. Students are at the core of everything that Dr. McGowan does. He focuses each day on how Brighton schools can be better, working with the students, their families, and staff to set and maintain high standards. We are proud to be a school district under his leadership that is unafraid to challenge the status quo, and hear all voices.” 

Dr. McGowan has been the Superintendent of the Brighton Central School District since 2009. He began his career as an elementary teacher in the Starpoint Central School District before becoming a High School Assistant Principal at Iroquois High School and then an elementary principal at Wales Primary School. Prior to Brighton, Kevin was the Superintendent of the Warsaw Central School District in Wyoming County.   

Under his leadership in Brighton, the district has emphasized that excellence is for everybody. Brighton has closed achievement gaps by focusing on the needs of each individual child. Other recent highlights for the district include: ranked BCSD as the No. 1 district in both the Rochester area and Upstate New York in its 2022 Best Schools Rankings.  

Niche ranked Brighton High School as the No. 1 high school in the Rochester area and Twelve Corners Middle School as the No. 2 middle school. 

Niche also ranked the district No. 1 for best places to teach in the Rochester area, No. 1 for best teachers in the Rochester area. 

Brighton High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2018 and a NYS Reward School for increased student achievement and closing gaps in student performance in 2017. 

BHS was named one of Newsweek’s Top 500 STEM High Schools in its nationwide 2020 ranking. BHS was ranked No. 1 in the Rochester area, No. 10 in New York, and No. 117 in the country for its excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Twelve Corners Middle School was re-designated as an Essential Elements: School to Watch for 2021. This was the sixth time TCMS was selected. 

Council Rock Primary School became the first primary school in the United States to receive an International Habits of Mind School of Excellence Award in 2019. 

Kevin is a graduate of Canisius College with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision. Kevin completed his doctoral work in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University at Buffalo. His dissertation was selected for presentation at the graduate research conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Council President Martha Group also acknowledged, “Kevin is recognized as a model of leadership for superintendents and educators throughout the greater educational community. His vision and commitment to children coupled with his thoughtful, deliberate, respectful, and selfless approach to meaningful state and local policy change, and developing and coaching current and future leaders is immeasurable. Recognizing Kevin as the 2023 New York State Superintendent of the year serves to highlight how we all can embrace the challenges of the 21st Century and ensure that every child, every family, and each of our public schools continues to thrive.”

Kevin previously served as president of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents. He currently leads the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation, Inc. (LEAF, Inc.) as president and is a member of the National Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. He is also active in mentoring and coaching superintendents and aspiring superintendents throughout the state. 

Council Executive Director Charles Dedrick, Ed.D. said, “Congratulations to this year’s superintendent of the year selection Kevin McGowan. I have known Dr. McGowan through all his years as a superintendent and want to congratulate both him and THE COUNCIL’S Distinguished Service Committee for his selection. Kevin was president of the NYSCOSS Executive Committee at the beginning of COVID in 2020. He led the organization and our superintendents during that most difficult period. Dr. McGowan truly exemplifies the fact that leadership matters.” 

Most importantly, Kevin proudly holds the title of husband and dad in his Brighton household. Among his three children are two sons, one a high school senior who constantly reminds him of the need for more snow days, additional free periods, and better school food; one in college who bemoans the same concerns from his K-12 days; and a daughter in fifth grade who seems to enjoy her dad being in her classroom slightly more than her brother does and is generally more appreciative of his performance. His children and exceptionally supportive wife, an educator herself, help him keep perspective and focus our most important priorities - the needs of each and every child and all their families.  

2024 Fall Leadership Summit

Public Education: The Pathway to Everywhere

Saratoga Hilton and Saratoga Springs City Center
Saratoga Springs, NY 

September 22-24, 2024

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