BELTON — Susan Kincannon, the Belton schools superintendent since 2011, was named the lone finalist for the top administrative job in Waco ISD on Wednesday.

“Waco is a special place for my family,” Kincannon said in a statement. “My daughter attends Baylor University, and my husband’s company does business here. We own a home in Waco and plan to retire there. I’m excited to meet our educators, spend time on our campuses, and — most of all — to serve Waco’s families.”

The Waco Independent School District board of trustees must wait 21 days before finalizing Kincannon’s hiring. The board is expected to consider her contract on Aug. 29.

The Belton Independent School District board of trustees will meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the superintendent position in closed session.

“Over the past four months, our families, our employees and this community have shared their vision for the future of our schools with the school board, and I am confident that we have found someone who has the same hopes and dreams for our students,” Waco ISD school board President Angela Tekell said.

If approved, Kincannon will replace former Waco Superintendent Marcus Nelson who stepped down in March after he was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Hazel Rowe has been leading Waco ISD as interim superintendent since Nelson resigned.

Kincannon has led Belton ISD during a time of growth. When the school board selected her as superintendent, the district had fewer than 9,000 student. Now enrollment is booming, with more than 12,000 students.

Since 2011, Belton ISD added two new middle schools and three elementary schools. The newest elementary school, Charter Oak, opens Aug. 19.

On top of that, the district is constructing its second comprehensive high school, Lake Belton High, in West Temple. It is expected to open next fall.

“For the past eight years under Dr. Kincannon’s leadership, Belton ISD has been a destination school district,” Belton school board President Sue Jordan said. “Her leadership has also made it a welcoming place for all of our families. Dr. Kincannon has celebrated our diversity and helped to build a genuinely inclusive culture.”

Kincannon started her education career as a fifth grade teacher in Temple ISD. She joined Belton ISD in July 2000 as a middle school principal. Kincannon also worked as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

“Dr. Kincannon is passionate about the students that she serves. She believes that every student deserves an education that will set them on the path to realizing their full potential,” Tekell said. “More than that, her experience, her expertise in curriculum and instruction, her knowledge of our district, and her connections to resources in our region and across the state make Dr. Kincannon the right person to lead Waco ISD forward.”

“On behalf of the Belton ISD Board of Trustees, I want to congratulate Dr. Kincannon on her selection as the lone finalist for Waco ISD. We thank her for her many years of service to our district and know that she is an excellent choice for the students, parents and our Central Texas neighbors in Waco,” said Board President Sue M. Jordan.

“The strength of Belton ISD’s enduring success is directly related to our tremendous staff that serve students each day and our Big Red Community that supports them,” said Jordan. “It is with the continued commitment of both that we can say with certainty that our district will continue to thrive during this transition. It is our intention to move forward with purpose to identify exceptional candidates for our top leadership position and to keep the community informed with accurate information throughout the process.”

 In light of Waco ISD’s announcement, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees has called a special meeting tonight, for consultation with legal counsel and expects to further outline the process for hiring the next superintendent during their regular monthly meeting scheduled for Aug. 19. At that time, the board will outline next steps, which could include interim superintendent options, timeline, and use of a third party to lead the process.