Ferndale Public Schools Superintendent Dania Bazzi was named the 2022 Michigan Superintendent of the Year by the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators.

Ferndale Public Schools Superintendent Dania Bazzi was named the 2022 Michigan Superintendent of the Year by the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators.

Photo provided by Ferndale Public Schools


Ferndale schools leader named Michigan Superintendent of the Year

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published October 28, 2021

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FERNDALE — The leader of Ferndale Public Schools has been named Superintendent of the Year.

Dania Bazzi, the superintendent of Ferndale Public Schools, was named the 2022 Michigan Superintendent of the Year award winner by the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators.

MASA Executive Director Tina Kerr surprised Bazzi with the award during a meeting of the district’s Board of Education Oct. 18. Bazzi told the Woodward Talk that she was shocked by the recognition, especially when her parents, husband and children, who haven’t been at a meeting since her first one five years ago, showed up as well.

“I kind of glanced over to my assistant superintendent (Johanna Mracna) and kind of at that moment knew what was going on, but really didn’t know until I saw my parents and husband and children walk in,” she said.

Bazzi has been the superintendent in Ferndale since 2017. She previously served as superintendent of Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools in Southwest Michigan for three years.

According to a press release, Ferndale Public Schools has been recognized with the 2019 Equity Innovator Award from Great Lakes Equity Center, a 2019 Innovative District Award from the International Center for Leadership in Education, and 2019-20 Whole Child Award from the Michigan Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She also led the district to earn AdvancED Accreditation for the first time in its history in 2018.

Bazzi was nominated for the award by Mracna, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Mracna called Bazzi “an inspirational and transformational superintendent” in a press release.

“Often we hear leaders speak of the importance of putting students first,” she stated. “However, it is rare to see one take a systematic approach to ensure we are doing everything we can for each and every student. That is what makes Dania special, her laser like focus on providing our students with the tools they need to be successful.”

Kerr stated during the meeting that she had the pleasure of serving as a superintendent in the same district as Bazzi several years prior, and that she saw then how special she was as an educational leader.

“This just proves it to me once again how lucky we are to have her leading your district,” Kerr said. “I know her well enough to know this is a community celebration.”

Bazzi will be formally recognized with the award at MASA’s midwinter conference in January in Grand Rapids. There also will be a $1,000 student scholarship donated to the district by the award sponsor, Williams and Co.

With her award, Bazzi’s name will be submitted for a national Superintendent of the Year award from the American Association of School Administrators, which will be selected next year.

Bazzi said it meant a great deal to receive the award because it highlighted the work that she and the rest of the district has been doing as a community of educators.

“To receive that recognition for the work that we’re doing as a team was very exciting. The award might have my name on it, but make no mistake, this is the result of a strong community and a strong community of educators that made this happen,” she said. “I think it is a sign of our progress. It shows our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and it shows how truly committed we are to helping all of our students succeed.”

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