Our October Superintendent Spotlight is Jonathan Criswell! He has served as the Director of Schools in the Milan Special School District for two years.
Milan Special School District has a rich tradition of success that Mr. Criswell has worked to continue over the past two years. Their elementary and middle schools have both been recognized as level 5 schools, and their high school has moved from a level 1 to a level 4 in two years.
Recently, their district fully implemented a dyslexia program designed to increase the reading level of all students in our district. Their students have experienced great success with the program. One student was recently quoted saying, "I did not find out I had dyslexia until I was a Freshman in high school. I always struggled and did not have the best grades, but when I finally found out what was wrong I felt a huge weight lift off my back."
Mr. Criswell enjoys making the job of teaching easier for teachers. His goal every day is to eliminate as much of the business side of education as possible for his teachers, allowing them to focus on impacting student learning.
He shared one of his favorite memories from his time as superintendent with us:
Being superintendent reduces the daily interactions that I am able to have with our students, but I have committed to be in the buildings as much as possible and to greet students as they arrive at school at the bus drop off locations and from the car lines. I enjoyed my morning car line time as an elementary school principal so much that I continue this practice as a superintendent when possible. One morning, I greeted a student and his mom as he was exiting the car. After the student exited the car, the mom pulled up, parked, and asked to speak with me. We made introductions. Chuckling, she then said that she asked her son who I was. The son replied, “I don’t know mom, but he is always in our school and he’s always smiling. I think he may be the President.”
Keep up the great work, “President Criswell!”