Center for Evaluation and Educational Leadership welcomes new director Bart Swartz

LAWRENCE — The Center for Evaluation and Educational Leadership (CEEL), housed within the University of Kansas’ Achievement & Assessment Institute, has announced the appointment of Bart Swartz as its new director. Swartz succeeds Brad Neuenswander, who has served as director since the center’s founding.

The mission of CEEL is to support school district and building level leaders to lead, organize and implement the most effective and equitable learning environments for students. Representatives from CEEL meet with school district leadership staff to develop strategic plans that lead to educational success and ensure all student populations have access to high quality supports and services.

An alumnus of the University of Kansas, Swartz has dedicated his career to educational leadership and support. 

"I am thrilled to be returning to KU in this capacity. My long-standing relationship with the university and my extensive experience in educational services equip me to further the mission of CEEL," Swartz said.

Swartz's journey in education includes earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the School of Education & Human Sciences and roles as a human resources director, deputy superintendent, high school administrator, and middle school teacher and coach. He has also served as chairman of the national advisory board for the School of Education & Human Sciences since 2016.

During his tenure at Greenbush, an educational service center in Kansas, Swartz developed programs to support administrators across the state. 

"My work at Greenbush, where we supported over 200 school districts, aligns perfectly with the goals of CEEL," Swartz said. 

It was here that Swartz engaged in several collaborations with outgoing CEEL director Neuenswander on various projects, including the Kansas Learning Network, COVID-19 pandemic initiatives and developing strategic plans for school districts.

“Bart and I have had the opportunity to work together on several leadership projects over the past several years. His unique skills and knowledge will allow him to step easily into the director role at CEEL, and his creativity in working with leaders across the state will be valuable in taking the center to the next level,” Neuenswander said.

Swartz said he is enthusiastic about the future of CEEL and its role in supporting educational leaders across the state. 

"The opportunity to work with a broader collection of resources and to support school leaders in addressing their evolving challenges is incredibly exciting. I am eager to collaborate with the talented team at KU and our partners to enhance educational leadership," Swartz said.

Reflecting on his work as director, Neuenswander said that one of the founding principles of CEEL was to serve educational leaders in Kansas and expose KU and AAI to a broader educational community. He said Swartz is well-positioned to continue this work.

“Over the past few years, I have been able to develop a foundation of support for educational leaders through strategic planning and community engagement. I’m excited to see where Bart Swartz can take the center,” Neuenswander said.

Swartz envisions expanding CEEL’s impact by bringing innovative resources and proactive support to educational leaders. His focus will be on addressing the diverse challenges faced by both rural and urban school districts, from declining enrollments to the need for robust leadership development programs.

For Neal Kingston, director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute, the hire is a great fit for CEEL because of Swartz’s knowledge of and experience with Kansas school districts and their leadership.

“His decades of experience with all levels of Kansas educators positions him well to provide the needs assessments and consultation many districts seek,” Kingston said.

According to Swartz, the CEEL director role is “a dream job” because it allows him to continue his work supporting school districts but at a much larger scale.

“With a greater collection of resources and tools — it's a dream job to not only support those districts, but to do it through the university, which has had a great influence on me.” 

Thu, 05/30/2024


Chance Dibben

Media Contacts

Chance Dibben

Achievement & Assessment Institute