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Superintendent of Schools

Stephen W. McCanless

Stephen McCanless Photo

Stephen W. McCanless serves as the Superintendent of Cleveland ISD.  Mr. McCanless is a Native Texan, having been raised in and completing all of his public school years in Channelview ISD.  Being from a family of 4 brothers and 5 sisters, McCanless says that education was always a topic of discussion at the dinner table.

Mr. McCanless started in education in 1994 as a substitute teacher for Deer Park and La Porte ISD.  He eventually accepted a full-time teaching position with Deer Park ISD at the Wolters Alternative Campus.  From there he went on to Pasadena ISD and taught middle school ELAR at Queens Intermediate.  After a short two year experience with Houston ISD teaching middle school ELAR at WI Stevenson Middle school, McCanless joined his alma mater, Channelview ISD, in 2003 teaching ELAR at Alice Johnson Jr. High.  Within two years he moved into Administration as an Elementary Assistant Principal.  Two years later, in 2007, McCanless was named Principal to open the new LW Kolarik 9th Grade Campus in Channelview.  After five successful years there as Principal, he was commissioned to open another new campus, the Anthony Aguirre Junior High.  It was one year later, in 2013, when Cleveland ISD hired Mr. McCanless to come and lead Cleveland High School as Principal.  McCanless was promoted in June 2017 to Coordinator of Students Affairs.  From there he went on to Director of Administrative Services in 2019, and most recently serving as Executive Director of Operations.

Mr. McCanless received his Associates Degree in Social Science from San Jacinto College, his Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and Master’s Degree in Education Management, both from University of Houston Clear Lake.  McCanless has completed all course work for his Ed.D in Educational Supervision at Lamar University.

Mr. McCanless has four children and seven terrific grandchildren. The youngest attend school in Deer Park ISD, La Porte ISD, Humble ISD and Clear Creek ISD. The oldest grandson is a UH Graduate and oldest granddaughter is a sophomore at SHSU, "Eat em up Kats!" His wife, Phyllis McCanless, owns her own educational consulting company and has been an educational consultant for Cleveland ISD since 2016.

Mr. McCanless’s philosophy is, “Every child can learn; our job is to support and inspire them in this journey”  He says that after nearly nine years here in Cleveland ISD, he looks forward to leading the best staff and the best students in Texas!

Required Posting

The board policy topics required by Education Code 11.1513(a) address board employment and evaluation of the superintendent, the superintendent’s authority to make hiring recommendations to the board and any board delegation to the superintendent for final hiring authority, and approval by the principal of campus staff assignments.