Kevin Garay

Kannapolis City Schools (KCS) has named Kevin Garay as its new assistant superintendent. Garay will replace Dr. Kelly Burgess who is leaving to take a position in the Rowan-Salisbury School District.

Kannapolis City Schools (KCS) has named Kevin Garay as its new assistant superintendent. Garay will replace Dr. Kelly Burgess who is leaving to take a position in the Rowan-Salisbury School District.

Garay is a distinguished educator and school leader. He served as the assistant principal of A.L. Brown High School from 2005 to 2009 and was the school’s principal from 2009 to 2014. During his time as A.L. Brown principal, the school’s graduation rate rose 16 points, and the dropout rate hit an all-time low. Garay also implemented A.L. Brown’s theatre arts, dance and culinary programs and launched the school’s STEM Academy.

Under his leadership, A.L. Brown added 25 percent more Honors and AP courses, increased ACT performance, and significantly reduced its student suspension rate. In 2011, Mr. Garay was named Kannapolis City Schools’ Principal of the Year.

In 2014, Garay became principal of Mallard Creek High School in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System (CMS). During his time as principal, Mallard Creek exceeded academic growth every year and maintained a graduation rate of at least 94 percent. The school also expanded its arts program, increased ACT achievement, added a Personalized Learning model, and was a finalist for the National Excellence in Urban Education Award.

In 2016, CMS honored Garay as the Principal of the Year for the North Learning Community, and in 2018, it named Garay Principal of the Year for the Northeast Learning Community.

Garay says he is excited about returning to Kannapolis City Schools.

“Although I am very appreciative of the experience, relationships and opportunities I had in CMS, Kannapolis is special to me in many ways. Reconnecting with the Kannapolis City Schools community and supporting the work of so many great educators is an incredible opportunity. The KCS community deserves strong, dedicated, servant leadership, and I am excited to help provide this,” he said.

Dr. Chip Buckwell, KCS Superintendent, believes Garay will continue the strong academic leadership that Dr. Kelly Burgess has established.

“Kevin Garay is an outstanding educator. He has an exceptional record of improving academic achievement and doing what’s best for kids. He’s also an excellent leader who knows Kannapolis City Schools and our community,” Buckwell said. “Mr. Garay will do a wonderful job of building on the accomplishments of Dr. Burgess and continuing to expand the opportunities we offer our students. I’m excited for our kids and for our staff that Mr. Garay is once again part of Kannapolis City Schools.”

Garay will begin as KCS assistant superintendent by the start of the school year in August.

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