LANSING – Craig Carmoney, Superintendent at Meridian Public Schools in Sanford, was announced as the Michigan 2021 Superintendent of the Year award winner by the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA) tonight during a surprise agenda item at the district’s virtual board of education meeting.

The Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award is presented by MASA to an association member who has shown tremendous effort and dedication to enriching the lives of children and the community as a whole.

“I’ve known Craig Carmoney for a long time and there is no one more deserving of this year’s Michigan Superintendent of the Year award,” said MASA Executive Director Dr. Tina Kerr. “His spirit, determination, and leadership have been a driving force in the community for many years. Whether it’s embarking on new ways to educate students or supporting students and families through a pandemic and history-making flood, Craig is a leader for the ages. We are so proud to have him representing our state with this honor.”

Carmoney’s nomination for the award included input and support from staff, students, local leaders, and colleagues across the state.

“Craig is a well-regarded mentor to teachers, administrators, and colleagues, actively supports colleagues partnering for student achievement, and has been instrumental in the success of his community through COVID-19 and a 500-year flood event this spring,” said Jim Walter II, Superintendent of Clare Public Schools and the person who nominated Carmoney for the award. “As a friend in the same position in a neighboring district, Craig has been instrumental in my learning curve success as a superintendent. He is adept at allowing others to speak and cultivating everyone’s opinion in a group as equally valued, but not afraid to call out a practice that may be wrong. Public education needs more leaders such as Mr. Craig Carmoney.”

Carmoney was named Superintendent of Meridian Public Schools in July of 2011. Meridian Public Schools is 21st Century school district that has partnered with the New Tech Network, Project Lead the Way, and Delta College to offer project-based learning, 1:1 technology, and early college for all students. Meridian is the only district in the state of Michigan to operate a full-school early college and partner with the New Tech Network to support K-12 project-based learning for every learner. Meridian Early College High School has been recognized annually since 2013 as a National Demonstration School by the New Tech Network.

Carmoney has dedicated his career to ensuring that every child is given the opportunity and pathways to succeed in life, college, and careers in the 21st Century. Under his leadership, the first-year college completion rate at Meridian Public Schools has more than doubled to nearly 80 percent and its most recent graduation rate increased to more than 95 percent. Meridian students now earn more than 3,000 college credits per year – 30 times the amount of credits earned prior to Carmoney’s tenure.

“Meridian Public Schools have truly been transformed by Craig’s vision and leadership,” wrote Sharon Mortensen, President/CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation in a letter of support for Carmoney’s nomination. “As a superintendent, he is willing to challenge the status quo and look at things differently. He brought educational ideas that veered from a traditional approach and successfully implemented them in a rural district. I can think of no superintendent more deserving of this award than Craig Carmoney given his leadership during these most challenging of times.”

Carmoney holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University. He is also successfully completed the Michigan Leadership Institute Supes Academy, the Great Lakes Bay Alliance Leadership Program, and the Saginaw Valley State University Gerstacker Fellowship Program.

Before coming to Meridian, Carmoney served as Middle School Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Bullock Creek Schools. He was also a classroom teacher in both Bullock Creek and Alpena Public Schools.

Outside of his work in the district, Carmoney is an active and involved volunteer. He has served as a part of numerous national, statewide and local organizations, including MASA, the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the New Tech Network District Leadership Council, the Midland County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Committee, Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, the Midland Business Alliance, the Midland County College Access Network Leadership Team, the Saginaw Valley State University External Advisory Team, the Greater Midland Area Community Center and the Midland County DARE Board of Directors.

MASA’s superintendent selection committee includes representatives from Michigan’s various education stakeholders, including superintendents, school boards, principals, and teachers. The committee selected Carmoney from a pool of highly qualified nominees from across the state

As the MASA honoree, Carmoney is now in the running for the national Superintendent of the Year Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). AASA will convene a Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee to select four national finalists in December. The four finalists will participate in a national briefing and interviews in January at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The National Superintendent of the Year winner will be announced in February at the AASA National Conference on Education, where all state winners are recognized as well. In addition, Carmoney will be formally recognized at MASA’s 2021 Midwinter Conference in January.

MASA serves public school leaders in nearly 600 public school districts and intermediate school districts across the state, helping the leaders of Michigan’s most important public institutions get better results for our more than 1.5 million students. Learn more at gomasa.org.