New leader at helm in Elizabeth schools

Dr. William Dallas shares goals as new academic year begins

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The Elizabeth School District will kick off the 2022-2023 school year with a new superintendent at the helm. Dr. William Dallas stepped into the district’s top job in early July, taking the post formerly held by Douglas Bissonette, who officially resigned on June 8.
 
Originally from Michigan, Dallas holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Lake Superior State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and a Ph.D. in leadership, policy, and research also from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
 
Dallas has a background in wildlife biology and genetics, and prior to administrative work he taught biology. One of his special interests is patterns and genetic variation in migratory bird populations. He decided to pursue a career in the field of education to share his love of science with students. Though he began his career as a teacher in Illinois, the majority of his biology teaching took place at Manitou Springs High School in Colorado, where he taught for five years prior to pursuing educational administration.
 
“Between Illinois and Manitou, I think I taught every single science class you can imagine,” said Dallas. “From astronomy to anatomy and physiology, to physics, chemistry, biology, and botany … If there was a content in science, I’m pretty sure at some point in time I taught it.”
 
His first dip into the pool of educational leadership was at Manitou Springs High School, where he chaired the Strategic Planning Committee. He later became an assistant principal for four years in Colorado Springs District 11 Schools, then spent three years as principal of the district’s James Madison Elementary School, followed by a three-year stint as principal at Fountain Middle School.
 
Throughout his career, Dallas has won several awards for his work in educational leadership. In 2020 he won the Colorado State Middle School and Secondary School Principal of the Year. In 2021 he won the CASSP (Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals) Distinguished Service Award.
 
Dallas has well-defined goals he plans to achieve during his time as Elizabeth School District superintendent:
 
1. Increase efficiencies and create opportunities while maintaining things that already work well.
 
“Elizabeth School District is in a great position. It’s in a great community and it has great schools. It’s had good, strong, consistent leadership for a number of years now,” said Dallas. “My first goal is not to come in and change everything but to increase efficiencies and create opportunities (like optimizing safety and security features) while still maintaining what has been working well for so long.”
 
2. Work with the school district and community to prepare for growth.
 
“How can we get to a place where we are prepared for growth in our schools and not find ourselves in a position where three years from now, we look back and say `I wish we would have …,’” Dallas said. “We have to stay ahead of the need there so that we are always in a position to where we don’t have to be reactive.”
 
3. Focus on the Homegrown Talent Initiative.
 
“It is important to look at where to maintain and where to expand the district’s Homegrown Talent Initiative,” said Dallas. “I am a very big proponent of focusing in on post-secondary workforce readiness in our schools. There are professional skills that we can be supporting kids on from the elementary, middle and secondary levels. The district was already in a good place with it and the notion of the prepared graduate, which is part of what drew me to the district. My goal is to look at how to continue to support that initiative.”
 
In addition to his educational pursuits, Dallas is a husband and a father of two daughters, ages 8 and 12. He is passionate about spending time with his family and is also an avid outdoorsman who loves to ski, mountain climb, mountain bike, and run long distances. He and his older daughter enjoy hiking 14ers together and Dallas himself has climbed more than 30.
 
To learn more about Dr. William Dallas, visit elizabethschooldistrict.org/Page/244.
 
For information on the Homegrown Talent Initiative, visit homegrowntalentco.org.
 
Dallas can be reached by email at bdallas@esdk12.org.
 
Elizabeth School District, William Dallas, Elbert County, Colorado

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