Kenneth Baca, most recently the superintendent of the Tempe Union High School District, will take the reins at the Madison Elementary School District as its new superintendent, effective July 1.
Baca beat out two closer-to-home candidates: Lori Garvey, Madison’s assistant superintendent of Administrative Services; and Barbara Marshall, Madison’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services.
Baca holds a doctorate of Education (Educational Administration and Supervision) from Arizona State University, and a bachelor’s and master’s in Education from the University of New Mexico, with a minor in Early Childhood Education. He has been at the helm of TUHSD since July 2011. Prior to that, he was with the Phoenix Elementary School District, serving as assistant superintendent of Business Services (2007-2011), director of Federal Programs (2006-2007), and principal of Kenilworth Elementary School (2002-2006).
He also served in several roles, including classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal and region assistant, for Albuquerque Public Schools from 1986-1999.
“I have always been passionate about elementary education,” Baca said in an interview with the North Central News. “As a former kindergarten teacher and elementary school principal, I am cognizant that a strong educational foundation provides a multitude of future opportunities for children. The past seven years in a high school district has allowed me to better understand what it takes for elementary students to successfully move into a high school environment where they prepare themselves for college and career. I wish to return to my roots and make a difference in the lives of all kids.”
Baca admires Madison’s academic excellence and its ability to provide a well-rounded education “so that students have the opportunity to discover their gifts and talents in a safe and supporting environment.”
His goals at Madison include continuing to provide students equal access to opportunities in the fine arts and in athletics, and recruiting and retaining quality teachers and staff while compensating them above state and peer-districts’ averages.