2020 USA-Kansas Outstanding Service Award
USA-Kansas is pleased to announce Dr. Randy Watson has been selected as the 2020 USA-Kansas Outstanding Service Award recipient. Over the past five years, Randy has served as the Education Commissioner for Kansas. Prior to his responsibilities in Topeka, Watson served as Superintendent for McPherson USD 418. During his career, he has worked tirelessly supporting students, teachers, and leaders in the state. In 2015 he was recognized by the Kansas School Superintendents’ Association as the Superintendent of the Year.
Dr. Watson first joined USA-Kansas in 1987 when he first made the move from the classroom to administration as an Assistant Principal at Concordia High School. Watson moved to the principal's role at Concordia in 1990 and completed his Doctor of Education degree from Kansas State University. In 1993 he moved to McPherson as the Asst. Superintendent and a few years later he was named Superintendent in McPherson. It should also be noted that between 1992 and 2009 Waston worked with Kansas State University and Wichita State University as an adjunct professor teaching a variety of Educational Leadership classes.
Earning his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University, Randy started his career in education teaching history and coaching in Tescott before later moving to Andover to continue his teaching career.
During Watson’s tenure as Commissioner, he and his team have worked to reimagine Kansas Education, from the daily structure of the school day to assessments, accreditation, and licensure. Yet, when the pandemic reached Kansas it was Watson who worked with educational leaders, teachers, and the Governor’s office to coordinate programming for our PreK-12 schools. Within days of closing the physical doors to Kansas schools, Dr. Watson and his teams had embraced educators from around the state to develop a plan to get students and teachers back to learning. While other states struggled with statewide coordination of a plan, it was the Navigating Change plan developed by Kansas educators that became a guiding example for others to follow.
Each year USA-Kansas recognizes one member with the Outstanding Service Award. This annual award is the highest recognition the organization bestows upon an individual member.
The Outstanding Service Award recipient has made significant contributions to the profession, demonstrated exemplary leadership, and established a meaningful impression on Kansas Education.
Individual attributes considered for the award include:
•Service to others
•Commitment to the organization
United School Administrators of Kansas is proud to sponsor the Dale M. Dennis Excellence in Education Award. The purpose of this award is to provide schools the opportunity to recognize a senior for his/her citizenship, service, scholarship, and demonstration of self-awareness.
This award is given in honor of Dale M. Dennis, Deputy Commissioner of the Kansas State Department of Education. Mr. Dennis has given many years of service to public education and has helped provide the leadership for financial support and academic excellence in Kansas schools. Mr. Dennis was named the Distinguished Kansan of the Year for Education in 2010. Kansas City’s Business magazine also named Mr. Dennis an icon of education, citing long term dedication and commitment.