Meet Superintendent Mark McQueen

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By Sharon Michalik, Director of Communications, Bay District Schools

We’re so excited to begin the 2023-2024 school year with all of our students, staff members, mentors, volunteers and one very special new addition… our new Superintendent Mark McQueen.

Superintendent McQueen, who is a retired Major General with the United States Army and former City Manager for the City of Panama City, officially kicked off his tenure on August 1, 2023, and we’re so very grateful for his continued service to our country and our community.

McQueen brings a wealth of experience to this new position and said he’s ready to get into the trenches with the troops to learn as much as possible about BDS and about how he can support our students, teachers and staff.

“I am not an educator by profession, but I have spent my entire adult life in public service (first in the military and later with the City of Panama City),” he said. “From those experiences, I know that empowering people to do their best work is where the magic happens.”

Public education, McQueen said, is “the foundation of any productive society and vibrant community, and I am excited to have the opportunity to help support the great work that is happening at Bay District Schools.”

McQueen said he plans to spend his first few weeks in office visiting all of our BDS locations (so you may see him at a beach school near you shortly) to soak up as much knowledge as he can.

“Obviously, I have A LOT to learn during the upcoming weeks and months, and I want you to know that I take that responsibility very seriously,” he said. “I am an ardent believer in the book Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World (authored in 2015 by General Stanley McChrystal and others), and I believe in systematic approaches to systemic issues.”

McQueen said his initial focus will be simple.

“We need to resource the teachers to ensure they have what they need to do the most important work,” he said. “I want to ensure we are leveraging technology, adapting to unpredictability, removing barriers that get in the way of collaboration and empowering our people to do their best.”

And all of that, he said, will be built on a foundation of ensuring all students are reading at or above grade level. “Reading is really the key to everything,” he said. “If you can read, then you can do math, you can do social studies, you can think analytically. So we’ve got to make sure that all of our students are competent readers and that they are comprehending, and applying, what they read.”

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