The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators is pleased to announce the selection of Damian LaCroix as Wisconsin’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year.
LaCroix has served for 12 years as the Superintendent for the Howard-Suamico School District (HSSD), a high-performing Pre-K-12 district serving 6,100 students in Northeast Wisconsin. His vision for public education has resulted in the development of innovative student programming aimed at ensuring that all students are college, career, and citizenship ready.
Under LaCroix’s leadership, HSSD won the Proficiency Award from the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence, Bay Port High School has been recognized nationally by Newsweek and the Washington Post as one of the top high schools in America, and two elementary schools have been acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award winners. Furthermore, in the past five years he has mentored team members to high levels of professional achievement including the Wisconsin Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year, Business Official of the Year, and the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association Lighthouse award.
His partnership with community supporters has contributed to successful referenda efforts for school facilities totaling $60 million during his career. Additionally, more than $2.5 million has been recently raised through stakeholder donations for targeted community and educational causes such as the Giving Tree Food Pantry and the Howard-Suamico Education Foundation.
While it is recognized nationally for its work toward a digital transformation of teaching and learning as a charter member of the League of Innovative Schools, HSSD is also highly-regarded for its collaborative and innovative staff. With enrollment growth up 25% over the course of LaCroix’s tenure, HSSD has become a destination District for students and teachers alike.
In the nomination for Superintendent of the Year, Howard-Suamico Board of Education President Mark Ashley discussed the leadership qualities and the drive LaCroix possesses.
“The Board of Education is extremely pleased that Damian was chosen as the Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year,” said Ashley. “We believe this award reflects the genuine desire he shares with our dedicated educators: to serve our students, to provide hope, and to offer a 21st century education.”
Ashley said LaCroix inspires the community to support its schools. “Damian’s consistent engagement with the community and our business partners has established an unprecedented level of support for public education in Howard-Suamico.”
“This award honors the collaborative efforts of our Board of Education, District staff, families, and community in preparing our children for their future,” said LaCroix. “I am humbled to serve in public education and I am grateful for this recognition of exemplary work being done throughout our District every day.”
LaCroix noted community support for public education as a cornerstone of HSSD’s success. “Our community truly inspires the District ethos of Serving, Learning, and Achieving – Together,” LaCroix said. “In turn, our schools and the students we serve reflect the values of our community.”
A lifelong educator, LaCroix began his career as a high school Social Studies teacher for the Pulaski Community School District in 1991. He later served as an associate principal and principal at Pulaski High School before joining HSSD as principal of Suamico Elementary in 2002. He was named HSSD Superintendent of Schools three years later.
LaCroix served as chair of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators large district caucus. He is an advisory board representative for the League of Innovative Schools, served in a similar capacity for EdLeader21, and a participates in the Educational Research and Development Institute. He has also served as a member of numerous business and civic organizations serving the greater Green Bay area, including the Chamber of Commerce Partners in Education Board, the Green Bay Community Church Elder Board, the Howard-Suamico Business Professional Association, Achieve Brown County, and the New North Regional Economic Development Board.
LaCroix earned his Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University where he is enshrined in the Athletic Hall of Fame following an All-America football career. He completed his Master’s Degree from Marian University and earned his specialist’s certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
LaCroix resides in Suamico with his wife, Melissa. They are the proud parents of four children: Maxwell (20), Zachariah (17), Abraham (16), and Abigail (15).
About the Howard-Suamico School District
Founded in 1961, the Howard-Suamico School District encompasses 53 square miles in one of the most popular and attractive areas of Wisconsin. Located in the villages of Howard and Suamico – just eight miles northwest of Green Bay’s historic Lambeau Field – the district serves approximately 6,100 students in eight schools and 10 community-based four-year-old kindergarten sites, making it the 25th-largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. The HSSD vision, mission and beliefs can best be summarized by the motto: Serving, Learning, Achieving – Together. For more information about the Howard-Suamico School District, follow us on Twitter (@HSSD) or visit www.hssd.k12.wi.us.
About the Superintendent of the Year Award
Since its inception 30 years ago, the Superintendent of the Year program has become widely acknowledged as the most prestigious honor a school system leader can attain. Applicants are measured against criteria such as successfully meeting the needs of students; personal and organizational communication; professionalism; participation in local community activities; and an understanding of regional, national, and international issues. This award pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation’s public schools.
LaCroix will be representing Wisconsin in the National Superintendent of the Year Program, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), VALIC and Aramark, at AASA’s National Conference on Education in New Orleans in March. The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators will be presenting the 2017 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year award to LaCroix at the joint WASB/WASDA/WASBO Convention in Milwaukee in January.