• Dennis McCaslin

FSPD wastes little time naming Morawski as new superintendent

In a called board meeting Tuesday night , the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education named current Deputy Superintendent Dr. Terry Morawski as superintendent of schools effective at the beginning of 2021.

The Board accepted a motion from Talicia Richardson, seconded by Yvonne Keaton-Martin to approve a mutual termination of Dr. Doug Brubaker’s contract effective December 31, 2020 conditioned upon him receiving a contract from the Texarkana School.

District. Susan McFerran followed with a motion, seconded by Talicia Richardson to approve the promotion of Dr. Morawski to the position of superintendent January 4, 2021 and negotiate said contract. Both motions were approved with 7/0 votes.

Following the meeting, School Board President Bill Hanesworth said, “I am thrilled with thedecision of the Board. It provides continuity for all the programs that are underway. It gives me a great deal of comfort to know that Terry is deeply entrenched here in the community and looks forward to the next phase of continuing development in our school district. Thanks to our community for their continuing support of the Fort Smith Public Schools.”

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to be the next Superintendent of Fort Smith Public Schools,” Morawski said. “Three things really set our district apart for me. First, our school board of directors have worked tirelessly over the last several years to build and support a strategic approach for district improvement. Second, we have what I believe to be the true secret sauce of an educational institution, an amazing staff and campus/district leadership who will go the extra mile for kids. Third, I am continually blown away by the tremendous support by our business leaders and community volunteers. Everything is in place for FSPS to shine for

many years to come.”

Morawski, who has served as the Deputy Superintendent in Fort Smith Schools since July 2018, has worked in public education for more than 20 years. During that time, he has held a variety of roles, including Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer, and Director. In Fort Smith, he has been part of the leadership team for the Strategic Planning process, Citizens Millage Committee, Citizens Capital Improvement Program Advisory

Committee, and other initiatives.

In addition to his administrative work, Dr. Morawski has achieved multiple certifications and awards. This year, he is participating in the Chamber's Leadership Fort Smith program. In 2019, he earned a Level 1 Certification as a Curriculum Auditor. He also completed the National

Aspiring Superintendent's Academy through American Association of School Administrators in February of this year. In 2012, he was honored as a Health Care Hero by the Fort Worth Business Press for a school district health initiative.

Dr. Morawski has been married to his wife, Dr. Courtney Morawski, for 21 years. His family also includes two boys - Jackson, a senior at Southside High School and Lane, a sophomore at Southside High School.

Dr. Morawski has contributed to the success of several milestone projects during his tenure with the district:

• The Board of Education approved the district’s five-year Vision 2023 Strategic Plan in

December 2017. This was a collaborative effort and process that was designed by more than 200 educators, students, parents and community leaders.

• The Vision 2023 Strategic Plan provided the framework for the Vision 2023 Citizens

Committee to research and outline capital improvement priorities. They recommended the need for a millage increase valued at more than $121 million. The Board agreed and called for the election in March 2018.

• In May 2018, citizens of Fort Smith and Barling voted 62% to 38% to approve a 5.558 millage increase focused on safety and enhanced instructional opportunities for all district students. This was the first successful millage election in 31 years.

• All students at all levels have a Chromebook that they can take home. While the original project plan did not anticipate the COVID pandemic, these devices have ensured that all children can learn at home should circumstances demand a 100% pivot to remote learning.

• As the district nears its half-way point in both the Vision 2023 Strategic and Capital

Improvements Program plans, construction projects are progressing steadily and remain within established budgetary parameters. Instructional opportunities remain focused by Vision 2023Goals including Career Planning, Instruction, Learning Environment/Facilities, Staffing, Technology, Equity and Wellness.

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