Members of the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Northwest Division have selected Dr. PJ Caposey, superintendent of the Meridian Public Schools, as their Superintendent of Distinction for the 2017 school year.
Caposey was nominated by his peers and selected based on achievements and personal characteristics aligned with the criteria for the state and national Superintendent of the Year awards.
Caposey has led his district through an operational and financial turnaround over the past four years. When Caposey arrived in Meridian, he was the fifth superintendent in three years; the district was operating a $1 million annual deficit and was in the midst of implementing dramatic reductions to staffing and programming. Caposey led the district through a successful to innovation. OCUSD 220 entered into a 7-year contract with Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt to serve as the District’s single-source provider for instructional materials (ELA, math, science, and social studies) and professional development. Under his leadership, OCUSD has implemented cluster grouping, student-led referendum to support important district initiatives and to build a stable financial future for the district. At the same time, Meridian invested $10 million in building repairs and improvements without increasing the tax rate or decreasing fund balances.
As a district leader, Caposey has focused on building the district through sustainable systems and processes for improvement. Using the Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence as the framework for improvement, Meridian continues to move forward in a systematic manner focused on academic performance, financial stability, district culture, and effective systems. This work has led to national recognition over the past two years, including designation as one of the US News and World Report “Top High Schools – Silver,” District Administration’s “District of Distinction,” and Silver Recognition for Stillman Valley High School as a “School of Opportunity (1 of 20 schools in the nation).”
Caposey also supports public education and educational administration outside of his own district. He is involved at the state level working with his IASA region and actively within the Illinois Principals Association as a collaborator, presenter, coach, and new leader mentor.
Outside of the state, Caposey has become a widely respected figure in our profession. He has published three books on a variety of topics (with three more due out by this time next year) and is a sought after speaker and consultant. In addition to this recognition, Caposey has previously been honored as the Distinguished Educator recipient from Eastern Illinois University, NSPRA 25 Superintendents to Watch, 40 Leaders Under 40, ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award, and Tech & Learning Leader of the Year Runner Up.