Following 10 years as principal of A.D. Wheat Middle School, Suzie Keesee will soon be working with Cleburne ISD students at a new level as the Director of Alternative Education.
In her new post, which will go into effect for the 2021-22 school year, Keesee will work with both middle school and high school students.
This will include TEAM School students, as the new campus leader following Principal Georgann Storm’s retirement at the end of the school year. She will also be engaged in initiatives focusing on career and college readiness, virtual instruction and interventions to close the achievement gap in middle school learners before they transition to high school.
“Ms. Keesee will be wearing several hats in her new position,” said Dr. Andrea Hensley, assistant superintendent of Human Resources. “In addition to overseeing TEAM School, she will also be working very closely with our high school and middle school principals in developing and expanding learning opportunities for students.
“We believe Suzie is ideal for this position. She was doing Capturing Kids’ Hearts long before it came to our district. She is the model of what a CKH leader looks like and is the perfect person to take the new alternative education program in our district to the next level. We anticipate a July 1 start for her at the latest, and she will be heavily involved in planning throughout the summer.”
Feedback and input regarding the skills and attributes of potential candidates for the principal vacancy have been collected from the WMS faculty and staff, as the district begins the search for the next campus leader.
Keesee came to Cleburne in 1999 as a middle school science teacher and coach, preceded by seven years in the Abilene and Waco school districts. Her administrative career began as an assistant principal of Cleburne Middle School, where she served five years before being named the principal of the district’s Phoenix campus in 2007.
In May 2011, Keesee returned to the middle school setting as an assistant principal at Wheat; several months later she was named interim principal. In January 2012, the principal’s office became her permanent home.
Wheat Counselor Marci Barr, who has served with Keesee throughout her years as the campus leader, is very proud of this latest achievement by her colleague — and friend.
“To quote [WMS math teacher] Allyson House, who said it best, ‘Suzie is known for growing great administrators and now she has the chance to grow herself in this new director position,’” Barr said. “We are very proud of all she has accomplished here at Wheat, and look forward to seeing the continued positive impact she will make in her new role.
“Administrators are many. But true leaders of people are few. Suzie Keesee is a compassionate, loyal and honest leader. I am so thankful she took a chance on me 11 years ago.”
Keesee admits to some bittersweet moments following the announcement of her new position — but with them has been excitement for this new leadership challenge.
“There have been some sad-happy days,” she said. “I will always cherish my time at Wheat. But I’m super excited about my new position and the opportunity to continue to work with students, including some I had at Wheat. It will be great to help kids continue in their learning and on to graduation.”