Linda Dzialo has always had a passion for education. She has shown that zeal through her roles as teacher, counselor, administration and now as president and CEO of a nonprofit aimed at inspiring academic excellence and a school climate of mutual respect - the Great Expectations Foundation.
She began her career as a teacher for the Lawton Public Schools before moving on to become counselor, principal and executive director of secondary education. She spent two years as vice president of student affairs for Cameron University before returning to Lawton Public Schools to serve as deputy superintendent. In 2010, she assumed her current role with Great Expectations.
"Under her watch, entire districts have had all their schools become model (Great Expectation) schools, state funding has been restored, new team members have joined us and additional research in cooperation with Harvard University has been undertaken." said Great Expectations Chairman Joe Williams.
Dzialo is a member of the Oklahoma Association for School Administrators, Cooperative Council of School Administrators, American Association for Curriculum Development and the Lawton Reading Council.
In addition, Dzialo is active in the community and founded Lawton Food for Kids.
"Beginning the Lawton Food for Kids program is one of my most significant personal accomplishments." said Dzialo, who also co-founded Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma. "Providing nutritious, weekend food for chronically hungry children in our community has improved the health, academic performance, school attendance, ability to concentrate and overall well being for over 500 Lawton children each year since 2004."
Her community involvement also includes serving as president of United Way of Lawton-Fort Sill and as a board member and mentor for Leadership Lawton Fort Still. She also is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma. Her efforts have earned her much recognition through the years, including Outstanding Woman of Comanche County from Lawton Fort Sill Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women in 2012, Outstanding Community Leader of the Year by Leadership Lawton Fort Sill in 2011 and the 2007 Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts Sooner Council. As a three-time honoree of The Journal Record's Fifty Making a Difference program, she is a 2013 inductee into the program's Circle of Excellence.
She is married to attorney Edward W. Dzialo Jr., and they have two children and five grandchildren.
"My goal is to ensure that every child in the United States receives a quality education that empowers each student to reach his/her full potential in life." Dzialo said. "Regardless of economic status, race, religion, or location, every American child deserves a top-notch, high-quality education."