Dr. Jenny McGown has deep roots in the Klein community and has most recently served as deputy superintendent for Klein ISD, a 53,400-student district in northwest Harris County. She is a dedicated leader who has also served Klein ISD in the roles of chief learning officer, executive director, principal, assistant principal, and classroom teacher.
“The Board of Trustees is confident that we have found the best candidate to continue our District’s achievements and lead our Klein Family into new ones,” Klein ISD Board President Georgan Reitmeier said. “As a truly invested member of this community, Dr. McGown is uniquely qualified to lead our district and ensure that our shared vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is made a reality.”
Dr. McGown is excited and humbled to lead the district she has served her entire career.
“I am incredibly proud to be part of our Klein family and am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as superintendent,” Dr. McGown said. “Students have always been and will always be at the heart of everything we do in Klein ISD. It is a privilege to ensure that the promise of EVERY Klein ISD student becomes a mighty purpose for the good of our community and the world.”
Dr. McGown’s journey in education began with a life-changing experience teaching in Uzbekistan. Her first students captured her heart with their resilience and tenacious desire to learn. Dr. McGown returned to Texas to teach English at Klein Collins High School where she was named the Harris County Department of Education Teacher of the Month and the Klein Collins Teacher of the Year.
“I knew there was something very special about Jenny when we had hired her as a teacher,” Klein Collins Principal Randy Kirk said. “Jenny has always put students first and is a leader who inspires others to be their very best.”
Dr. McGown progressed into an administrative role serving as an assistant principal at Klein Collins High School, assistant principal at Benignus Elementary, and associate principal at Brill Elementary. She was principal at Ehrhardt Elementary, as well as the founding principal of Zwink Elementary.
During her time at Zwink, she and her team led the campus to national recognition as a Model Professional Learning Community School and the first Klein ISD school to become a State and National School of Character.
Dr. McGown then transitioned into district leadership as the Executive Director for Student Performance where she supported elementary and secondary campuses in the work of school improvement and leadership development, before being named Chief Learning Officer for the District.
Former Klein ISD superintendent Dr. Jim Cain offered his support for Dr. McGown upon hearing of her selection.
“I’ve known Jenny since she was a classroom teacher, and I’ve watched her career as she became a campus administrator and then a district leader,” Cain said. “Jenny embodies everything that makes the Klein ISD a first-class place. She has the talent, skill, energy, and the feeling of community and family that is so important to Klein. When you put all of that together, I know she will be an outstanding superintendent for the Klein ISD.”
Dr. McGown was recognized as one of the top 40 professionals under 40 across all sectors in the greater Houston area by the Houston Business Journal in 2017 and the Houston BizWoman Headliner in Education in 2018. She also serves on the Google for Education North America K-12 Advisory Board. Dr. McGown completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University and received her Master’s and Doctorate in Education from Sam Houston State University.
In Klein ISD as Chief Learning Officer and Deputy Superintendent, McGown led a team that accomplished remarkable milestones. Dr. McGown had a pivotal role in developing unique pathways for students to earn advanced degrees before high school graduation, including the Advanced Nursing Pathway and the first-in-the-state Geospatial Engineering and Land Surveying Pathway. She led the development of Guiding Coalition teams, consisting of educators and community members, to address the unique needs of Special Education, English Learner, and Gifted and Talented students.
She also initiated Innovation Challenges that enable students to solve real-world problems creatively—earning state and national-level recognition for STEM education by JASON Learning—as well as KleinTalks, an annual celebration of student voice for students to speak about their passions.
Under her leadership, the district increased the percentage of students enrolled in and successfully completing advanced courses. She and her team also spearheaded efforts to recognize district success, such as being named an HEB Excellence in Education finalist, one of only five in the state, and earning a Texas Association of Gifted & Talented Innovation in Gifted Award, one of only two in the state.
Additionally, she has managed a strategic partnership with the Holdsworth Center as one of only two school districts in Texas selected for the inaugural pilot and one of only seven districts for the inaugural cohort.
Outside of professional life, Dr. McGown enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and children, Joshua and Mary Claire, both Klein ISD students. She and her husband are members of Faithbridge Church, supporters of the Klein Education Foundation, and are deeply involved in the work of Love 146, an international human rights organization committed to ending child trafficking.
Dr. McGown’s first day as Klein ISD superintendent of schools will be July 1, 2019 following the June 28, 2019 Board vote.