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Michael Duncan appointed as president and CEO

October 24, 2023

Battelle for Kids, a national, not-for-profit organization with the mission of realizing the power and promise of 21st century, deeper learning for every student, has appointed Michael Duncan, Ed.D. as its new president and CEO, effective October 1, 2023. 

Dr. Duncan succeeds Karen Garza, Ph.D., who announced her retirement after a 38-year career in education including the past seven years at the helm of Battelle for Kids.  

Dr. Duncan joined the organization in August 2023 as president, working alongside Dr. Garza over a two-month leadership transition period. 

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Mike Duncan as the new president and CEO of Battelle for Kids. After an extensive search process, we found an exceptional individual who will lead this organization into the future,” said Dr. Garza. “Mike brings with him a wealth of experience, and we are confident that he will help propel Battelle for Kids to new heights and will be a trusted partner with the many school systems and statewide organizations we serve nationwide.” 

With a deep passion for 21st century, deeper learning anchored in a school system’s vision – its Portrait of a Graduate – Dr. Duncan has a proven track record of leadership in the education sector. He was one of the longest-serving superintendents in the state of Georgia, having been the superintendent at Pike County Schools since 2005, retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. 

“Throughout my tenure as a superintendent and educator, I witnessed firsthand the power of collaboration, innovation, and a shared commitment to the success of every student. These values align closely with the mission of Battelle for Kids, and I am honored to be leading this remarkable team,” said Dr. Duncan. 

“It was an honor to serve Pike County Schools as superintendent for 18 years, and now I am excited to bring the insights and lessons learned from those experiences to my new position as president of Battelle for Kids. I look forward to continuing to champion 21st century, deeper learning for every student.” 

Dr. Duncan has been a member of EdLeader21, the national network of Battelle for Kids, for more than a decade. He previously served as the network’s advisory vice chair. 

Before arriving in Pike County, he was a high school principal, high school and middle school assistant principal, and a middle school teacher.  

Dr. Duncan earned the 2012 Georgia School Superintendent President’s Award and the 2018 Georgia School Superintendents Association’s Bill Barr Leadership Award. In 2018 and 2019 he was a Georgia Superintendent of the Year finalist and was named the 2021 Georgia Superintendent of the Year winner. 

He earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Georgia in 2004. He also holds a master’s degree from UGA and a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University.