Heath Chasanov, who retired as superintendent of Woodbridge School District recently, began working as the new CEO of Kent Sussex Industries (KSI) on December 4, 2023. He explained that even though he has only been on the job a week, he knows this will be his last job.
“I am excited to be here,” Chasanov said. “The last couple of years I just kind of been listening and just seeing if there was something out here. And then when I heard about this, this opening, I’d been here before, and I know some folks who worked here. So, was a no brainer for me. It absolutely was. I’ve worked in serving communities and people my entire life. There’s no better group than this.”
Chasanov spent 32 years in education, serving as a teacher, administrative assistant, admissions and federal programs director as well as in business education for Polytech. During his career, he served as the Business Manager at Laurel before coming to Woodbridge as the Administrative Superintendent in 2003. He became superintendent of that district in 2012. Chasnov explained that returning to his home school district of Woodbridge was a way of giving back to the community he came from, something he hopes to do at the helm of KSI.
“I most look forward to continuing the programs here and getting our latest project, the Life Enrichment Program, operational. This is a $600,000 project. But we’ve got another $2.6 million on the other side,” Chasanov said. “And, trying to get that completed because it’s what our participants deserve. I am looking forward to just working with those folks and the staff. This is such a caring staff. So just working with that that group. This is my last job. I have only been here seven days and have really enjoyed it.”
There will be challenges, Chasanov explained, especially when it comes to funding, something every non-profit organization deals with.
“Some of our revenue sources are reimbursable through the state,” Chasanov said. “Of course, being in education all these years I’ve seen what happens when there’s a downturn in the economy and the state doesn’t have the resources and trying to make sure that we can sustain those ebbs and flows if that ever happens again. We had to do it in education several times in my career. Just making sure we’re financially stable and able to continue to provide services when the economy goes south.”
The Board of Directors was extremely pleased to bring Chasanov on board.
“The Board is incredibly excited about the future of KSI under Heath’s guidance,” Travis Frey, Board Chairman, said. “Heath will bring his superior leadership, sense of community and compassion to the KSI team. His knowledge of Delaware through his 31 years of public education will be instrumental in creating a new exciting vision for KSI.”
Chasanov has served as President of the Delaware Association of State Personnel Directors, the Delaware Chief School Officers Association and the Delaware Association of School Administrators. In addition, Chasanov has served on the Public Employee’s Compensation Committee, the Governor’s School Reopening Committee, Professional Standards Board, the Education Funding Improvement Commission, the Financial Literacy Task Force, The TeachDE Leadership Council, the Delaware Teacher Hiring Task Force, the School District Finance Work Group and the Vision Coalition Executive Leadership Team.
A 1987 graduate of Woodbridge High School, Chasanov earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Delaware.
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