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Dr. David Herbert who has recently been named the Alaskan Superintendent of the year, has dedicated his life to working with Native people in the field of education. He has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education graduating with a 4.0, Summa Cum Laude from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Herbert was a teacher and then a principal for ten years prior to moving to Alaska. For the last thirteen years Dr. Herbert has been working in remote Bush Alaskan communities helping to educate the Yup'ik Eskimo people. He was first a principal in a small school, then an assistant superintendent in one of the largest REAA school districts in Alaska, and is currently in his 10th year as the Superintendent for the St. Mary's School District. While serving as the Superintendent for the St. Mary's School District, Dr. Herbert earned his PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Dr. Herbert served for three years as a member of the executive board for the Alaskan Superintendents Association, One Year as the president of the Alaskan Superintendents Association, was a member of the Alaska Council of School Administrators executive board for three years and served as the President of the Alaska Council of School Administrators.
Dr. Herbert became the superintendent for the St. Mary’s School District on July 1, 2005 and has successfully served for nine years as the School District superintendent making him one of the longest continually serving superintendents in the State of Alaska.
In St. Mary’s he guides a top performing school district, one that considers the needs of all students while envisioning the future that all graduates will encounter as they move beyond high school. A peer commented, “to be a successful Superintendent in a relatively isolated Alaskan village setting requires a person of the utmost integrity, fairness, commitment, and energy. Dave Herbert is all of this and more!”
Colleagues, community members, and board members identify Dr. Herbert’s many attributes as being a “leader of leaders”, “education activist”, professional, caring, detail oriented, “extremely hard worker”, supportive, thorough, and reliable. A fellow superintendent lauded his leadership expertise by commenting, “On a relationship level, Dave Herbert symbolizes all that is good and true about educators. He has the courage to take a stand and the wisdom to be circumspect in his choice of words. Dave is an outstanding model for all Superintendents”. A teacher commented, “Dave is uncompromising in his standards of providing the best possible educational setting for students and the tools necessary for the district staff to achieve this. His focus on providing a culturally relevant education as well as one that is aligned to Alaska’s standards is paramount and evident in his planning and actions. Dave continually goes beyond what it takes to be an effective superintendent in accommodating and promoting the community’s cultural events and encouraging student participation in cultural activities.”
A colleague commended his statewide leadership expertise by sharing, “While president of ASA and continuing to the most recent legislative session, Dave Herbert was a consistent and positive voice for the needs of education in Alaska. His testimony is always accurate and thoughtful. He is solely responsible for reinvigorating the ‘superintendent voice’ at the legislative level during his presidential tenure.” Another commented, “Dave is a respected, reasoned, and strong voice within the organization. He consistently provides the motivation, energy, focus, and vision for development of ASA positions on issues that affect education in Alaska.”
Mr. John Heard has been the Superintendent of The Perry County School System, a small, rural school system located in West Central Alabama, since 2003, and was recently named School Superintendent of the Year for Alabama. The Perry County School System is comprised of 1,640 students. One hundred percent of these students qualify for free lunch. The student population is 99% Africa American. Over the past several years, resources have been strained due to budget cuts in an already poor state, but Mr. Heard has nonetheless pushed his school system to unprecedented levels of success. His efforts and success have been an inspiration for his peers, and indeed the entire state. The primary beneficiaries of Mr. Heard's abilities have been the students of Perry County, whose rising scores and abilities during Mr. Heard's tenure have been phenomenal. Mr. Heard is married to Sarah A. Heard, and they have two children, John and Sharina.
Dr. Tony Thurman, Superintendent of Cabot Public Schools, was born in Monticello, Arkansas, and graduated from Monticello High School in 1987. He received a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Education from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and then obtained his Doctor of Education in School Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2003.
Dr. Thurman has worked in the field of public education for the past 25 years, beginning in 1988 as a school bus driver and substitute teacher for the Monticello School District. He taught in Crossett Public Schools and then moved into school administration as the principal of McGehee Elementary School in McGehee, Arkansas. Dr. Thurman moved to Cabot in 2000 and served as principal of Cabot Middle School South for three years and principal of Cabot High School for four years.
Dr. Thurman was named Superintendent of Cabot Public Schools in May of 2007, where he oversees a student population of over 10,300 students and approximately 1,450 employees. He has also served as an adjunct professor for Arkansas State University since 2004, completed the Leadership Development Program based at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, and participated in the Harvard Superintendents Academy in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Thurman was also a recipient of the 2013 Alumni Award for Achievement and Merit from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Dr. Thurman has served on the Arkansas Child Health Advisory Committee and currently serves as a consultant with the Educational Research Development Institute (ERDI) and as a representative on the Arkansas ACT Council and the Arkansas Leadership Academy Advisory Committee.
He was appointed by Governor Beebe in January 2014 to serve on the State and Public School Life and Insurance Board. Dr. Thurman was also appointed to serve on the State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children in May 2014 by Speaker of the House Davy Carter. Dr. Thurman is an active member of both the Cabot Rotary Club and the Cabot Kiwanis Club and was recently named a Civitan Foundation Junior Fellow.
Dr. Thurman and his wife Tara have two wonderful children: Ryane, 14 and Rhett, 12.
Dr. Denton Santarelli has served the Peoria Unified School District for more than 34 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, K-12 administrator, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and most currently as superintendent. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Santarelli is well-known for his contributions to school improvement and his expertise extends beyond the Peoria Unified School District. Throughout his career, Dr. Santarelli has been an on-going advocate for public education by promoting an environment conducive to the social, emotional, physical and academic growth of all students.
In his current role, Dr. Santarelli was honored with the 2013 Arizona School Administrators’ (ASA) Raymond Sterling Kellis Leadership Award, 2012 Superintendent of the Year for Large Districts in Arizona, as well as the 2012 AdvancED Superintendent of the Year Award. He has been recognized with the Bernard Stewart Distinguished Service Award, ASA Distinguished Administrators Award, the Alliance for Arts Education Superintendent’s Award and the Arizona School Public Relations Association Superintendent’s Award.
Dr. Gregory A. Franklin has been serving as superintendent of the Tustin Unified School District since July 1, 2011. Dr. Franklin has worked in public education for the past 30 years. Prior to joining TUSD, he served as superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School District, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Glendale Unified School District and assistant superintendent of human resources in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District. He was also principal of Fullerton Union High School and Bonita High School in the Bonita Unified School District, and assistant principal at Saddleback High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Superintendent Franklin began his career as a social studies teacher and football and track coach at Saddleback High School. He took a year off to teach English as a second language to Japanese professionals in Tokyo, Japan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in education from Chapman University and his doctorate in educational leadership from USC. He has served as an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Northridge; and Chapman University.
Among his accomplishments, Dr. Franklin was named California and Orange County Superintendent of the Year for 2014, received Golden Bell Awards by the California School Boards Association for various curriculum programs, and the Junior Achievement of Southern California’s Teacher of the Year Award for his work with students and applied economics courses. In addition, Dr. Franklin is Chair of the USC Rossier School of Education Dean’s Superintendent Advisory Group, president of the Association of California School Administrators State Superintendents Council, and a member of the Southern California Superintendents group. Locally, he is a member of the Tustin-Santa Ana Rotary Club.
Dr. Franklin is passionate about preparing students to succeed in the global workforce through rigorous and engaging instruction, real-world applications, and the integration of technology.
Brian Ewert has been passionate about public education since age 5 when he began kindergarten!
Brian has spent 28 years as a professional educator, his last four as the lead learner and Superintendent of Englewood Schools, a challenging urban district. He is an advocate and champion for all children and believes that schools must have a relentless focus on learning... each and every day, without exception. Previous experiences include serving as a director of human resources for the Douglas County School District, the 3rd largest school district in Colorado. Other professional experiences include leadership in urban, suburban and rural school districts, serving 13 years as a school principal, one year as an assistant principal, and six years as a teacher of elementary and middle school students. Brian has a B.S. in Education from the University of Nebraka-Lincoln, an M.A. in School Administration & Leadership from California State University-San Bernardino, and Superintendent Licensure from the University of Colorado-Denver. Brian also teaches graduate courses for the University of Northern Colorado in the Master's level principal preparation program.
In his free time, Brian enjoys fine dining, reading fiction, hiking, biking and training for half marathons. Brian is the proud father of Siera, a sophomore at Peru State College in southeast Nebraska where she is working on a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education.
Biography of Elizabeth E. Feser
Dr. Feser is the Superintendent of the Milford Public Schools; she began in Milford in April 2011. Prior to coming to Milford, she served for nine years as the Superintendent of the Windsor Public Schools.
Her professional career has included serving in three states, working in both urban and suburban districts and in parochial and public schools. Prior to serving in Windsor as Superintendent, Dr. Feser served for eight years as the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in the New Canaan, CT Public Schools. Before New Canaan, Dr. Feser served as Principal of Danbury High School in Danbury CT. She came to Danbury from the Arlington School District, located outside of Poughkeepsie, NY, where she served as Assistant Principal of Instruction at the high school. Dr. Feser also spent 11 years as both a high school teacher and school administrator in parochial schools in Boston.
Dr. Feser holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier College (Chicago) and Master’s degree from Boston College. She earned a second Master’s and her Doctorate in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Feser has been an active participant in many organizations over the years including substantial involvement with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). She is currently the immediate Past President of CAPSS, and serves on the Assessment and Accountability and the Leadership Development Advisor Committee. She is also a member of the Connecticut Superintendents’ Network, a clinical study group focused on improving instructional practice and creating the conditions that foster student achievement.
Michael D. Thomas, Superintendent of Schools
Capital School District
Dover, DE 19904
On September 29, 1951, I came into the world to the proud parents of Austin and Victoria Thomas. I grew up in a small town of Temperanceville, Virginia, known as eastern shore of Virginia. It was, and still is, primarily an agricultural community which sits on the north side of the Chesapeake Bay, across from the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area. Truly, this area was a wonderful little community in which to grow up and reside. We made our own baseball fields in the summertime as well as cleared open lots on which to play football in the wintertime. Our summer baseball games would include 5-6 man teams where you would have invisible base runners and outfielders.
Additionally, we spent many summers in my early years in Florence, South Carolina, the home of my mother. The streets would be filled with kids playing a baseball game, called “half-rubber.” As the name indicates, you would cut a rubber ball in half and use a broomstick as a bat to play ball in the street communities in which my mother’s family lived. People were very friendly and engaging to each other. I always felt this was the first lesson learned in how to engage in a positive way with individuals no matter their background or makeup in life.
At 11 years old, two things occurred which influenced me throughout my high school and even college years. It was called hard work.
At age 11, I began working for a potato farmer. The job entailed bagging potatoes for shipment, loading trucks, and as I became more experienced, driving tractors and trucks in the fields. These were long, hot, dry and dusty days.
As I drew closer to the age of 14, my father went into the business of racing harness horses. For the next 10 years, we raced horses up and down the Atlantic seaboard circuit. In February, he would begin racing in New Hampshire, move down to Maryland in the spring and part of the summer, and then move back to Freehold, New Jersey, sometimes going to Yonkers Raceway in New York following the end of the Freehold Racing Meet. Racing horses on the circuit is akin to working 20 hours a day. One is up early in the morning training horses throughout the day and then racing in the afternoon or evening. It was always very exciting for my brother and me. Between working on the farm and training and racing horses, I learned there is no substitute for hard work and dedication in what you are doing. Fortunately, these experiences have remained with me throughout my life and certainly have impacted how I have both prepared and worked in my career of education. Although my brother and I both wanted to attain our license to drive horses, my father would not allow this and demanded we go to college and seek a different career. How lucky I was to have the opportunity to receive a call from the high school from which I graduated. The district was in desperate need of finding science teachers and the principal was aware I had just graduated from college with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Thus began my teaching and coaching years which ultimately lead to opportunities for advancement into administration.
My career in education afforded me opportunities, challenges and cherished experiences. Each opportunity and experience enabled me to professionally grow, learn and develop. Sometimes it was an opportunity to strengthen interpersonal skills. Other times, it provided opportunities to become a problem solver and, most importantly, it provided rich experience in how best to lead people and organizations.
In my early days as an assistant principal, I was guided and mentored by very caring and capable administrators. I had a watchful eye on what they did and how they did it. In one situation, I worked with a person whom I was able to learn from through what he sometimes failed to do. Learning experiences come in many forms. The one profoundly important component that I saw from successful administrators was the way they demonstrated respect and concern for other people. It became ingrained in my mind the more respect you showed for others; the more they demonstrated respect for the people with whom they worked. Respect has a way of motivating people to move in positive directions.
Along with demonstrating respect for others, I learned something very important from my father, not by what he told me, but what he valued – always be honest and forthright. Throughout my educational career and particularly as serving as Superintendent for many years, I learned that one’s honesty and integrity cannot be compromised. Regularly as a Superintendent, you receive pressures from people who have misguided intentions. The old adage “anyone can steer the ship in calm waters” I have found to be true. The mark of a leader is standing tall when it may not be the most popular position to take, but it is the right position for the integrity of the situation or the organization.
Truthfulness and integrity are particularly important in working with a board of education and in moving a school district to focus directly on students and their educational betterment. Asking principals and other administrators to commit their best efforts is in vain if they are not able to see the best effort of the superintendent. This is true in the fulfillment of administrative responsibilities as well as becoming an instructional leader. I have found being hands on and engaging with teachers and administrators is immeasurable in securing their best efforts and willingness to focus on the important goals necessary for student learning.
Over time, I am proud of the continued progress and development of Capital School District. Upon my arrival, I assumed leadership of a district that was very unstable financially, had a building infrastructure that was in some decay, a declining enrollment, community members feeling that diversity was not appreciated nor acknowledged, and a very inconsistent focus on meeting the needs of students. Today, the district has a very sound financial base, new and renovated buildings, increased enrollment, improved student achievement, and the support of a diverse community in which the voters approved three consecutive referenda. For some years now, the district has consistently won Superstars in Education awards, Distinguished Title I school awards, and Parent Engagement awards. Additionally, the district has expanded offerings to meet the needs of all learners, ranging from 21 AP classes to career and technical opportunities. The goal is for every student to leave high school and be college or career ready.
As detailed earlier, the successes I have achieved in my position of Superintendent in Capital School District is built on engaging with community, faculties, staff and administrators in building professional relationships necessary to focus on students and their educational needs.
MaryEllen Elia was appointed Superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools on July 1, 2005, following a nationwide search. District schools have successively earned more A and B grades each year of her tenure as superintendent. The district also earned its first overall A grade from the state of Florida for student achievement after her first year as superintendent, and has earned two more since then.
Mrs. Elia, a lifelong educator, began her career as a social studies teacher in the state of New York in 1970. In 1986, she relocated to the Tampa Bay area after accepting a position at Plant High School as a reading resource specialist. She was promoted to several key positions in the district over the next 20 years.
She was the district's first magnet schools supervisor. She was promoted in 1997 to the director of non-traditional programs where she managed all magnet schools, as well alternative schools and drop-out prevention programs. Mrs. Elia was appointed General Director of Secondary Education in 2002.
In 2003, she became the district's Chief Facilities Officer. In this role, she provided oversight of all new construction and was responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 200 existing schools and educational facilities. She remained in this position until her appointment as superintendent.
Superintendent Elia was named 2014 Florida Excellence in Education Award winner by AdvancED/SACS. In 2013 she was honored with the Just Read! Florida Superintendent of the Year, as well as the Tampa Bay Business Journal Woman of the Year. In 2011, she received the College Board's District of the Year Beacon Award and was recognized with the Florida Department of Education's Data Leader of the Year award for leading the way in using education data to drive student improvement. In 2010, she received the Inaugural Governor's Business Partnership Award presented by Governor-Elect Rick Scott and the Florida Council of 100; the Women of Distinction award from the local chapter of the American Association of University Women; CEO of the Year from the Florida Supplier Development Council; the University of South Florida-Anchin Center Exemplary Leadership in Education award; and the Network of Executive Women 2010 Executive Woman of the Year award. In 2009, Superintendent Elia received The College Board's Outstanding Leadership award. She received the Florida Association of District School Superintendents' Superintendent's Award for Volunteer/Community Service in 2008/2009 and 2006/2007. In 2008, Ms. Elia was named the Dr. Carlo Rodriguez Champion of School Choice by the State Board of Education. She was named Florida's Superintendent of the Year by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations in 2007.
Ms. Elia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Daeman College; a Master's degree in Education from the University of Buffalo; a Master’s degree of Professional Studies in Reading from State University of New York at Buffalo; and certification in Educational Leadership.
With a proven track record in leading school reform and building positive community/school relationships, Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue currently sits at the helm of the Clarke County School District in Athens, Georgia. His leadership experience transcends geographical regions and has included rural, suburban and urban settings.
Under his leadership, the Clarke County School District has been honored as a Title I Distinguished District for being Georgia’s #1 large district for closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. Dr. Lanoue has consistently brought schools and districts to higher levels of academic achievement, and the district’s graduation rate is now above the state average in every subgroup. The district is also one of the 2013 & 2014 Best Communities in Music Education as named by the National Association of Music Merchants.
Prior to serving as superintendent of the Clarke County School District, he was Area Assistant Superintendent for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. Under his leadership, eight Area 1 schools received Title I Distinguished School recognition in 1997. In addition, all elementary and middle schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Both high schools were removed from the AYP “Needs Improvement” list.
Prior to his stint in Cobb County, Dr. Lanoue served as principal for 18 years in four high schools in Massachusetts and Vermont, his home state. While leading Weston High School, it was ranked the 36th best high school in America by Newsweek magazine, as well as the top public high school in Massachusetts. His subject specialty is biology, and he began his educational career as a science teacher.
Dr. Lanoue has received a variety of accolades during his distinguished career. Among these are him being named Boston Northwest Principal of the Year, Vermont Principal of the Year “In Honor of Excellence” recipient and Hockey Coach of the Year. He also served on the advisory board for The Principals' Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he oversaw leadership interns from a variety of Ivy League universities. Dr. Lanoue was also a top four finalist for Georgia Superintendent of the Year, and is one of the nation’s top 50 educational innovators in technology as named by Converge magazine.
Dr. Lanoue received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mercer University, M.Ed. in Administration and Planning from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Vermont. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia in the Educational Administration and Policy program in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy.
He currently resides in Athens with his wife, Vickie. Dr. Lanoue is the proud father of two daughters, Jamie and Joslyn, who live in the New England area.
I have been blessed with a family that understands the passion for my work and provides space and time in my personal life to pursue my dreams. My wife is my constant partner in all things and my children have followed the path of higher education and share our passion for excellence. Some of the high points of my professional life follow:
I was fortunate to be the benficiary of outstanding educational programs which yeilded the following degrees and honors:
• Drake University / Des Moines, Iowa / Doctor of Education / Educational Leadership / 2002-04
• Scottish Rite Scholarship for Doctoral Studies
• Drake University / Des Moines, Iowa / Masters in Education Leadership / Princpal's Endorsement 1989-91
• Univeristy of Iowa / Iowa City, Iowa / Bachelors in Science / Science Teaching / 1976-79
My professional career has been rewarding and busy. I have been rewarded with the following professional opportunities:
• Norwalk Schools / Superintendent / 2004-Present
• Norwalk MIddle School / Principal / 1994-2004
• Norwalk High School and Norwalk MIddle School / Assistant Principal / Athletic Director/Transportation Director 1991-1994
• Norwalk High School / Science Teacher and Coach / 1979-1990
I have always enjoyed a staff that embraces our vision and helps me advance our goals. I have been the beneficiary of these efforts and have enjoyed the following recognitions:
• Iowa Superintendent of the Year 2014
• Iowa Principal of the Year 1999
• National Milken Educator 2000
• Iowa FINE Research Award (Dissertation) and Scottish Rite Doctoral Scholarship
• Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year and State Championship Coach
• IEREA (Iowa Education Research and Evaluation Association) Research Award for Dissertations 2001
• Goals 2000 $250,000 Mentoring Grant (Co-author and fiscal agent)
All educators are involved in many facets of the educational systems. I had the opportunity to serve education in the following areas:
• Drake University Specialist Program Advisory Committee (2009 to present)
• Indianola Alternative School Advisory Board 1989-1994
• Heartland AEA 11 Facilitator “Elmore’s Rounds Trainer” (Trained at Harvard 2010 and 2011)
• Member of the Governor’s Taskforce on Leadership and Compensation 2011-2013.
• Elected Leader of the Central Iowa “Metro Superintendents” group
• Appointed by SAI as an administrators on the “Commission on Educational Leadership and Compensation
• Ad hoc instructor at Drake University (1997 to present)
• Construction Projects include 8-9 school, elementary expansions, a new stadium and a new auditorium.
• Worked for passage of the “Penny Sales Tax”. Authored “feature articles” in the DM Register
I took much pride in my scholarship and was published twice during my academic career for work in educational policy implementation study in Iowa. :
• “From Statehouse to Schoolhouse” FINE Foundation Report to the Iowa Legislature. (2001)
• “From Statehouse to Schoolhouse” presented at FINE International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey. (2002)
• “Policy Recommendations for State-Led Reform”. Educational Planning Journal (Vol. 15, No 1, 2006)
Although all school initiatives are the work of hundreds of people, I had the opportunity to be deeply involved in these initiatives during my superintendency:
• US NEWs and World Report named Norwalk one of the top 20 “College Ready High Schools” in Iowa.
• Founding member of Warren County DMACC Career Academy at Southridge Mall
• Norwalk is one of only 17 schools awarded “Belin-Blank AP College Readiness List” since inception in 2005
• Graduation honors mimic Iowa Regents entrance requirements rather than simple class rank.
• Graduates create electronic portfolios based on the Iowa Core and exit interviews with staff.
• HealthierUS School Gold of Distinction Award at Lakewood Elementary School 8:30 a.m.
• Safety innovations. Cameras thoughout all schools. KeepNTrack at elementary entry doors, cycle of radon mitigation.
• Cameras,wireless and tracking systems on transportation vehicles.
• 920 seat Auditorium for Fine Arts performances of all types
• 3000 seat Stadium for school and community usage.
During my superintendency, Norwalk Schools received the following honors which deserve attention:
• The City/County Management Association “International Program of the Year for City-School Collaboration”. Shared Bus/City Maintenance facility, shared technology and
• Our professional teaching staff was selected for the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant
• Additionally, students in grades 8-12 will be participating in a 1 to 1 computer initiative in 2014-15.
• During my tenure as superintendent, Norwalk has won two Iowa Teachers of the Year (Andy Mogle and Charity Campbell) Iowa Technology Director of the Year (Tim Geyer),
Iowa Principal of the Year (Dale Barnhill) Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year (Mark Crady).
A well-rounded life includes an active role in the community. I have been involved in helping programs my entire professional career. This involvement includes:
• Variety Club Children’s Charity “Iowa Volunteer of the Year” (2007)
• Variety Club Volunteer after my oldest child was a cancer victim (1995-Present)
• Norwalk Chamber of Commerce President (2008)
• Norwalk Chamber Board of Directors (2002-Present)
• Norwalk Library Foundation Board Member (2002-2010)
• Norwalk Lions Club (2009-present)
• Norwalk Optimist Club Founding Member (2009-2011)
• Active at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church (2006-Present)
Since his appointment by the Board of Trustees as Superintendent of Madison School District 321 on July 1, 2001, Dr. Geoffrey M. Thomas has been instrumental in promoting increased academic achievement and providing improved facilities for children.
Rexburg has seen significant growth during his tenure - Dr. Thomas has successfully planned for the influx of over 1,200 new students over twelve years. Thomas has overseen the construction, remodeling and expansion of several schools, including a new high school and two new elementary schools. He has also built and maintained positive relationships with business and community leaders, including strong ties with Brigham Young University Idaho.
Under his leadership, Madison is consistently among the top five Idaho school districts in academic student achievement. Madison is a state leader in offering pre and after school programs, providing ever expanding opportunities for minority, gifted and special needs children, and boasting the best fine arts offerings statewide.
Dr. Thomas is active in state professional organizations serving as the President of the Idaho Association of School Administrators (IASA) from 2011-2012, President of the Idaho Superintendent Association (ISSA) 2009-2010 and held the post of President of the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) from 2006-2007.
Dr. Thomas was requested by Tom Luna Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on Mr. Luna's transition team and was a member of Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's Blue Ribbon Plant Facility Task Force. Dr. Thomas is currently serving on the Idaho Task Force on Education by Governor Otter.
He graduated from Utah State University with a BA degree in History and a MA in Political Science. Dr. Thomas also holds an Education Specialist and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Idaho State University.
Growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin taught him the principles of hard work and responsibility. Dr. Thomas began a seven-year classroom teaching career at Carbon and Box Elder High Schools in Utah, where he taught US and World History, Geography, AP US and Comparative Government. Prior to his appointment in Madison, he served as Assistant Principal and Assistant Superintendent in the Idaho Falls and Bonneville school districts.
Dr. Thomas, his wife Janalee and their five children reside in Rexburg. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and spending time with his family. His favorite sports are football and basketball. He also enjoys hiking and trying to improve his marginal golf skills.
I graduated from Quincy College with a B.A. in History and a minor in English. I obtained my M.A. in Educational Administration and Foundations from Western Illinois University and my PhD in Educational Administration and Foundations from Illinois State University. I taught English and Social Studies while also coaching wrestling and football before becoming a principal at Mendon Unity High School in 1990. After two years I moved to Rochester Community Unit School District 3A as principal of Rochester High School, followed by principal of Rochester Elementary School, and Assistant Superintendent. I am currently in my thirteenth year as Superintendent of Rochester Community Unit School District 3A.
I have been married to my wife Michelle for 28 years. I have three children: Nathan (26), Erica (22) and Connor (16).
Dr. Rocky Killion’s first of many academic degrees was a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Music, which, looking back may have been a precursor to his ability to lead his school district, as he would a symphony, through the cacophony of issues confronting public education.
Dr. Killion segued from classical music to public education and became assistant principal of Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana in 1995. At the same time he completed his Ph.D. in Education Administration at Purdue University in 1996. He served as Principal of Grimmer Middle School in St. John from 1995 to 1999 when he moved to the administrative office as Assistant Superintendent of the Lake Central School District from 1999 to 2007.
Dr. Killion proceeded to his present Superintendent position with the West Lafayette Community School Corp. in 2007.
Dr. Killion is a member of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, the American Association of School Administrators and the Indiana School Boards Association. He was a seven-year member of the Indiana State School Music Association Board of Directors.
He has presented numerous times before professional conferences and symposia including "Using a Data Driven Approach to Win a Referendum" at the National School Boards Association, San Francisco, 2011; "Blowing Your Own Horn: How to Market Your School District to Capture Funding," National School Boards Association, Boston, 2012. His presentation, "Rise Above the Mark – Promoting Education Reforms that Work" has been presented at three national conferences including the School Superintendents National Leadership Conference, San Diego, 2014.
Dr. Killion has been published many times in "The Journal: The Magazine of the Indiana School Boards Association."
His love for public schools and children led to a crescendo of concern resulting in a video documentary, "Rise Above the Mark" (www.riseabovethemark.com ), which examines the issues, controversies, funding sources and negative outcomes of the so-called “education reform” movement. Dr. Killion was the producer and the primary interviewer. The documentary includes interviews with Dr. Diane Ravitch, Dr. Marc Tucker, Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond and Mr. Jamie Vollmer. The production includes unique animation to illustrate complex issues of funding and the “reform” money trail. It is narrated by Peter Coyote who is also heard on the recent PBS Ken Burns documentary, “The Roosevelts.”
At the end of a school day, you may find Dr. Rocky Killion conducting a band or orchestra in his District. He’s still a musician at heart.
Dr. Randall (Randy) D. Watson has served as superintendent of the McPherson Unified School District 418 since 2005. Prior to this post, he served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the McPherson public schools. Dr. Watson has worked 33 years in education and has held many other positions including high school principal in Concordia, KS, assistant principal and activities director in Concordia, KS, and social studies teacher and coach in the Andover and Tescott school districts in Kansas. Dr. Watson currently services as chairman for the Coalition of Innovative Districts for the state of Kansas and was the president of the Kansas School Superintendent Association in 2012. He is active in the McPherson community where he serves on the Go McPherson board, the housing coalition board, and as a board member on several civics organizations.
Recognized for his leadership throughout Kansas, Dr. Watson is often sought out for his ideas on educational issues by members of the legislature, state board of education and the Governor’s office. He is highly requested as a keynote speaker, both in and outside of Kansas, on a variety of educational topics, especially on issues related to college and career readiness.
Dr. Watson obtained a bachelor’s degree in History from Kansas State University, a Masters degree in school administration and earned a doctorate in school law, curriculum development and instructional leadership also from K-State. He volunteers in his spare time to develop youth volleyball throughout Kansas.
His wife Debbie is an elementary school principal. They have two children, Melissa, who teaches in Great Bend, Kansas and Phillip, a senior in college.
Dr. Jim Flynn, Superintendent of Simpson County Schools located in Franklin, Kentucky is in his 12th year as superintendent. Prior to his arrival, Simpson County Schools had experienced a rapid turnover of superintendents. As a result, he has endeavored to lead the district through a transformative process while providing stable, principle-centered leadership. During his tenure as superintendent, the district has successfully implemented a common vision that focuses on empowering all students to graduate life ready – prepared socially and academically for college and/or careers. His decisions always reflect this vision.
Superintendent Flynn is active in his local community. He serves on both the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority Board of Directors. Additionally, he has served many community programs including coaching youth sports and volunteering for many Chamber of Commerce events.
Professionally, he was President of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents in 2013-2014 and is currently an officer serving as Immediate Past President of KASS. The Kentucky General Assembly appointed him to the Local Superintendents Advisory Committee and he was selected to serve on the Superintendents Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of Education. As part of the Kentucky New Superintendent Training Program, he serves as a member of the faculty teaching on Cultural Leadership. He is an active board member with the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative as well. Additionally, he has served as a Superintendent Mentor for 4 current Kentucky superintendents. He is a member of KASA, AASA, KSBA, and ASCD.
Prior to becoming superintendent, He was principal of Shelby County High School for six years. Additionally, he served as a teacher, coach, dean of students, and assistant principal in a career that has spanned 25+ years.
Flynn began his post-secondary education after graduating from Bowling Green High School in 1982. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1986 in biology from Western Kentucky University. He earned his Master of Science degree in biology and secondary education from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. He continued his graduate studies at WKU, earning a Rank I in Educational Leadership with a high school principal certificate and a superintendent certificate. In May 2013, he graduated with a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University.
He is married to Natalie, who is a Reading Specialist at Briarwood Elementary in Warren County. They have three children, Bracken (Rice University graduate – Houston, TX), Hunter (WKU graduate – Bowling Green, KY), and Bretton (sixth grade). He resides in Franklin with his wife and daughter.
Dr. Patrice Pujol is the Superintendent of Schools for the Ascension Parish public school system in Louisiana, a PK-12 system comprised of 21,500 students and 28 schools. She is a 38-year educator who has long been at the forefront of school and district improvement efforts. Patrice was the principal of St. Amant High School, where she used innovative scheduling models to drive improved teaching and learning. She has served as the Director of Secondary Schools, the Director of School Improvement, and Assistant Superintendent for the Ascension Parish School System. She has initiated and implemented such innovations as the instructional coach program, district wide curriculum framework with benchmark assessments, and a leadership assessment and development program. Her district has implemented an aggressive plan to provide one-to-one computing devices to all students in order to transform the teaching and learning experience. Most recently she has worked with her leadership team to create a Turnaround Zone within her school system to redirect concentrated support for the schools serving the most impoverished students in the district. All of the schools in the Turnaround Zone have instituted the Teacher Advancement Program as their school reform model. The model has been highly successful in recruiting, supporting, and retaining high quality teachers in poverty schools and in closing the achievement gap in Ascension Parish Schools. She and her team have also developed a robust Leadership Academy to develop a talent pool for succession planning within the school district. Her focus throughout her career has been on improving teaching and learning processes throughout the school system to assure that students receive a rigorous education to prepare them to compete in the global economy. She has a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University and her research interests include school district organizational processes that promote collective efficacy and improved student achievement.
William H. Lupini recently completed his tenth year as Superintendent of Schools with The Public Schools of Brookline, a diverse PK-12 system of over 7,500 students near Boston, Massachusetts. He previously served as Superintendent in Beverly, Massachusetts, for seven years, and for two years in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Lupini has also served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant High School Principal in Kutztown, as well as having worked as a Program Specialist with the New Jersey Department of Education. He began his career by teaching Marketing Education for eight years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Bill holds a doctorate from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Dr. Lupini currently serves as President of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. In addition, he previously served as President of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) Governing Board, a national coalition of multiracial, suburban-urban school districts that have come together to study achievement gaps that exist in their districts. He is an active presenter and lecturer on issues of educational equity, educator evaluation, and school law.
Lehigh University awarded him the “Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Educational Leadership” Award in November, 2007 and the Matthew W. Gaffney Award of Excellence in
October, 2001. He lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with his wife, Darlene, and their three children: Matt (age 21), a junior at the University of Wisconsin; Meredith (age 19), a sophomore at the University of Vermont; and Kristen (age 17), a senior at Beverly High School.
The Board of Education named Mr. Stephen Guthrie to the position of Superintendent of Schools for Carroll County on July 1, 2010. Mr. Guthrie's contract was renewed for a second four-year term in February 2014.
Mr. Guthrie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education, Social Studies from Lock Haven University, a Master's in Education from McDaniel College, and a Master's in Business Administration from Frostburg University.
He started his career as a classroom social studies teacher and taught in both California and Pennsylvania prior to his career in Maryland. Mr. Guthrie was a teacher, school counselor, Director of Human Resources and an Assistant Superintendent prior to his appointment as superintendent of schools.
Mr. Guthrie was also employed for 10 years in the education department of McDaniel College where he held the title of Adjunct Instructor and was later promoted to Visiting Professor. He was also employed as an evening counselor for five years at Carroll Community College where he also taught several courses.
Mr. Guthrie was appointed by both Governor Ehrlich and Governor O’Malley to serve on the Professional Standards in Teacher Education Board, where he served for 6 years. He has also served as vice president of the Rape Crisis Board and the Community Media Center Board and was a member of the Local Management Board.
Mr. Guthrie was honored to be named as the recipient of McDaniel College’s Joseph R. Bailer Award. This prestigious award, named for one of the College’s most highly respected career educators, is presented each year to a McDaniel College master’s degree recipient who has made a significant contribution to the field of education.
Over his career Mr. Guthrie has authored and co-authored many professional articles on various topics related to public school education and has served on countless task forces and committees both in locally and in Maryland. He also has been a frequent speaker at statewide and national conferences on education issues.
Raised as the middle of three children of Louise and Floyd "Lucky" Bailey in New London, New Hampshire, and after graduating from Springfield College with a degree in Health and Physical Education in 1973, I moved to Maine where I have worked to improve teaching and learning for 39 of the past 41 years. For a brief two-year period I moved back to New Hampshire to be Principal of Main Street School in Exeter, NH. After gaining valuable experience teaching through 1980, my mentor, Dr. Mark Shibles, former Dean of the College of Education of the University of Maine, encouraged me to begin on the path of school administration. At 29 I became principal of my K-8 school in Veazie, Maine, and thereafter served as principal in three different school districts for a total of 18 years: Veazie, Exeter, NH, and South Portland, Maine. Leadership at the district level was my next calling and for nine years I served as Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction for the South Portland School Department. In 2007 I was selected Assistant Superintendent for South Portland where I served for the next four years. In 2011, I was elected Superintendent of Schools for the Central Lincoln School System, AOS 93 comprised of the towns of Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol. Serving the students and staff of this system and the families and residents of these communities has been like returning to my roots, as this is the area my great-grandparants lived and farmed during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Perseverance was a family trait I inherited from my rich Maine and New Hampshire background and upbringing, and it is a factor in all I do both personally and professionally.
Married with three grown children, Elizabeth, Chris, and Ben, I live in West Bath, Maine with my wife Kerry. Kerry is also a professional educator and currently serves as Principal of the Harpswell Community School in Harpswell, Maine. Besides house renovating and redecorating, we enjoy golfing, time with our family, traveling to warm locations during cold Maine winters, and talking about teaching and learning.
|Yvonne Caamal Canul||MI||
Raised in Latin America as the daughter of a diplomat, Yvonne brings a rich “world-view” to her work of 38 years in the field of education as a teacher, school principal, director of curriculum and assessment, consultant for low-performing schools, a state department of education official, and as a corporate senior executive in the private sector leading a division dedicated to research, education product development, and global strategic partnerships. Most recently Yvonne led the Michigan site for a Kellogg Foundation funded Early Childhood collaborative between Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina. Since March of 2012 she has served as the Superintendent for the Lansing School District, spearheading a bold restructuring plan that focuses on research-based grade span cohorts and bringing the district out of an operational deficit. Yvonne has received numerous awards, among them are the National Educator Award presented by the Milken Family Foundation and the Human Rights Award given by the Michigan Education Association. Yvonne and her husband Victor enjoy travel, but home is shared between Michigan and the Yucatán.
Yvonne Caamal Canul
Sandra “Sandy” Lewandowski is the Superintendent of Intermediate District 287 in Plymouth, Minnesota, USA. Her district provides more than 120 programs and services for career, technical, gifted, and special education, as well as online learning options, to 12 Twin Cities’ member school districts. Sandy has been widely lauded for her communication and public relations skills, innovation, dropout prevention, wellness initiatives, and legislative leadership. She is the recipient of a Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA) Leadership in Communications Award; two Hubert Humphrey for Local Government Innovations Awards; a Crystal Star Award for Excellence in Dropout Recovery, Intervention and Prevention; a Hennepin County Wellness by Design Award; and the TIES Technology Leadership Award. In 2012, Sandy was selected as a finalist for the American Association of School Administrators Women in School Leadership Award in 2012, and this year Intermediate District 287 was designated a Minneapolis Star Tribune Top 100 Workplace.
Superintendent Lewandowski earned her Licensure as a School Superintendent, Ed. Specialist Degree in Educational Administration, and Bachelor of Science with Honors from the University of Minnesota. She was the first superintendent in Minnesota to institute a formal district-wide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program and the first to start a Gateway to College program. She has also built and financed two schools designed for the unique learning needs of special education students. These sites have garnered state and national attention for their customized design and energy-saving features. As a champion of and innovator for students with the highest needs, Sandy participates in county-wide juvenile justice initiatives and alternatives to suspensions & other exclusionary practices. She recently established a professional cohort development program called “A Better Way,” which teaches school leaders how to implement evidence-based positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), social emotional learning, alternatives to suspension, and culturally-responsive programming.
I am starting my 30th year in Missouri education. I have been a teacher for nine, a high school principal for ten, and a superintendent for eleven years. I have also done almost every other job from bus driver, transportation director, assistant principal, athletic director, and also, summer maintanence help for the school to provide for my family of seven. My wife and I have been married for 38 years and have raised five sons. All five, graduates from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I have been blessed to start at a smaller, but great district, to the point of my career to be at a great school serving over 4000 students. My vocation has allowed me the opportunity to be able to be associated with many great people; students, parents, and staff. With all great opportunities, comes great responsibilities. I have been blessed!
|H. Gearl Loden||MS||
Dr. Gearl Loden attended Itawamba Community College, Delta State University and the University of Mississippi where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Leadership. He served as an adjunct faculty in the MSU Educational Leadership program.
Dr. Loden taught social studies and coached junior high girls' basketball at Kosciusko Middle School beginning in 1994, held a similar position in Tupelo, was middle school assistant principal in Oxford, elementary school principal in Houston, executive director of human resources in Meridian, principal of South Panola High School and most recently as superintendent of the Amory School District.
Under his leadership, Amory School District moved from Academic Watch to High Performing. While principal at South Panola, the school moved from traditional Level 3 to High Performing. Based on state test scores, growth and graduation rate, the Amory School District, moved from 59th to 17th out of 152 districts in the state and did that over a two-year period. Loden’s administration forged successful partnerships allowing them to institute culinary arts, expand Pre-K and introduce plans for a parent center.
In June, 2012, he joined the Tupelo Public School District. Loden has launched several initiatives including community advisory councils, the expansion of arts integration, professional learning communities, and employee/student health programs. Since his arrival, the district has risen from a state ranking of 96th to 16th among 147 districts state-wide. Loden has been instrumental in increasing the 4-year graduation rate from 72.4% in 2012 to 79.4% this past year. Additionally, the MKAS scores, which indicates the kindergarten readiness of preschoolers, were the 12th highest in the state.
Loden is married to Monica and is the father of two boys, ages 13 and 5.
H. Gearl Loden
I am a fourth generation Montanan and fourth generation Montana educator. Raised and primarily educated in Missoula, my personal and professional focus has always been to be able to live in Montana and serve Montanans, especially its children. I started my education career teaching grades 7-8 language arts in Columbia Falls, Montana. Two years later I took a leave from the field of education to attend law school and practiced in the Flathead Valley for two years. During that time, I still focused my spare professional time on helping teachers and administrators with education-law related information and training. Missing the field of education - especially working with students and teachers - I returned to teaching for five years at Columbia Falls High School and began my administrative career in Eureka, Montana as the community's high school principal. Though I enjoyed high school, an opportunity arose to return to Missoula where I served as the K-8 school superintendent for 7 years at Target Range School District and now another 10 as the superintendent at Lolo School District. In 2007 I received my doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana.
I am a "dabbler" in life. Though Montana is my home, I regularly travel the back roads of the Northwest as well as abroad to visit friends and family in different countries. I love to learn and have diverse interests. The outdoors, history, cultures, music, education, law - my professional work and personal time reflects these interests. I regularly work with the University of Montana as an adjunct professor and with occasional foreign country educational students and dignitaries. My involvement in activities outside of my regular work accurately indicates my desire to always help others improve - whether locally, regionally or internationally. I believe in establishing processes that will serve the stakeholders in any organization, but especially education, so that quality education occurs and improvement continues regardless of who the leader may be. At home, though, you'll find me most often hiking in the backcountry along a stream with my golden retriever, enjoying the natural beauty of my Montana backyard.
Rodney Shotwell is currently in his 25th year in public education, with the past 13 years as superintendent. Strategic planning, increasing technology in classrooms and community engagement are hallmarks of Dr. Shotwell’s tenure with Rockingham County Schools. Leading the district through multiple strategic planning processes have unified the community around setting high expectations for all students and providing the tools needed to accomplish this goal. His collaborative leadership style has developed Rockingham County Schools into a strong, student-centered organization that is focused on learning, promotes continuous improvement and innovation, and holds high expectations for all.
He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations/Economics followed by the attainment of a master’s degree in Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996. In 1999 he obtained his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundation from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Beginning his journey as an In-school Suspension/Drop-out Prevention Coordinator and Social Studies teacher for five years. His experiences have included school administration for six years in three school districts. In the summer of 2001, he was named the superintendent in Macon County Schools. He was the Chief Execute Officer for 4,296 students and 753 employees. He was responsible for a 33 million dollar annual budget.
Since June 2006, Dr. Shotwell has served as the Superintendent for Rockingham County Schools. He has lead 13,181 students and 2,100 employees. As the superintendent, his job responsibilities have included strategic planning to guide the system to insure that all children can learn. During his 14-year tenure as superintendent, Dr. Shotwell and his team have successfully implemented various school reform initiatives to improve students’ preparation for college and careers, including college access initiatives, one-to-one laptop learning program, and Spanish emersion programs. He has been instrumental in increasing the graduation rate by 10 points, reducing the dropout rate and raising student achievement. In 2007, 5.7 million was provided to graduating seniors and in 2014, 17.8 million was offered to seniors due a collaborative effort with the Rockingham County Education Foundation. Superintendent Shotwell has also widely involved the community with the Board of Education in strategic planning and school system improvement initiatives.
In addition, Dr. Shotwell has earned numerous awards including the 2012 North Carolina Administrator of the Year, NC Music Educators Association, 2012 Superintendent of the Year, NC Community Health Alliance, State Finalist for the A. Craig Phillips State Superintendent of the Year, and the Wachovia 2000-2001 Principal of the Year for Lexington City Schools.
Shotwell also serves in several leadership roles such as Chair of the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium, 2011-2013; North Carolina Association of School Administrators Board of Directors 2005-2006 and President for 2014-2015; North Carolina School Superintendent Association Region 5 Representative for 2011-2012; North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors; Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development, NC Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development President-Elect 2010-2011 and President 2011-2012; NC Principal Fellows Alumni Association State President from 1997-2003 and serves on the UNC-Greensboro School of Education Advisory Board, 2010-present (Chairman for 3 years).
In addition, he has been an Adjunct Professor at NC University of Greensboro, Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University. Since 1993, Shotwell has been a Sports Broadcaster for the local radio station. Dr. Shotwell is involved in the community from civic clubs like the Rotary and Kiwanis. He serves as Treasurer and Finance Chair for the Rockingham County United Way.
Dr. Shotwell and his wife Kim have two sons, Evan and Josh. The family resides in Reidsville, and they enjoy pursuing outdoor recreational activities together.
Brian Maher grew up in Hooper, Nebraska - the youngest of seven children. He is the only child to complete a 4-year college degree.
Brian grew up in schools as his father was an elementary school custodian. As a student Brian was a free and reduced lunch student. Little did he know that his understanding of that program would benefit him as a school administrator.
Brian graduated from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska. During his days as an undergrad he competed in football and basketball. His advanced degrees are from the university of Nebraska system. His holds a masters degree and a doctorate.
Brian has worked as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, activities director, principal and superintendent. All of his work has been in Nebraska Public Schools.
Brian is married to Peggy - wife of 31 years. The couple has three children. Lindsey is a Middle School Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska. Brett is member of the Ottawa REDBLACKS football team in the Canadian Football League. Maggie is just completing her degree in Special education.
Jerry Frew is in his seventh year serving the Kearsarge Regional School as Superintendent of Schools. During his 39 years in public education, Frew has been a teacher, coach, Director of Athletics, Assistant Principal, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent in several New Hampshire school districts.
Frew graduated in 1975 from Plymouth State College with a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences. He completed his Master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of New Hampshire in 1986, and became certified as a Superintendent in 2002. He was named Hudson School District Teacher of the Year in 1979, his first fulltime teaching position.
Throughout his career Jerry has been involved in professional and civic organizations including the NH Interscholastic Athletic Association as a Tournament Director, Past President of the NH Association of School Principals, and the NH School Administrators Association. Currently he serves on the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators and the New Hampshire School Administrators Association Executive Board. Past civic involvement has included terms on the Concord Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, New Hampshire Kids Voting Board of Directors, Friends of Concord High School Hockey, and on the Parents Advisory Board at Johnson and Wales University.
In 2003 he was presented a Distinguished Service Award by the New Hampshire Association of School Principals, and in 2008 was presented the James Desmarais Outstanding Service Award by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Jerry and his wife Joan celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year. They are the proud parents of three sons and have five grandchildren.
Dr. Timothy Purnell began his tenure as the superintendent of Somerville Public Schools on February 1, 2011. Dr. Purnell serves on the New Jersey State Board of Examiners and New Jersey State Program Approval Council. He has worked as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University since 2002. Prior to his post in Somerville, Dr. Purnell served as the superintendent in Harding Township, NJ for three years. He also served as a middle school principal, elementary vice principal and science teacher.
Dr. Purnell received his Bachelors in Arts in 1997 from the University of Delaware with a concentration in Biology. He received his Masters in Administration and Supervision in 2002 from Montclair State University and his Doctorate from Seton Hall University in 2008. Dr. Purnell ‘s research, entitled No Transient Child Left Behind, studied the link between student transience and standardized test scores on a global and local level.
Dr. Purnell has presented for the NJEA (2002), Techspo (2011), NJASA/NJSBA (2012), NJSBA (2013), NJASA/NJAPSA (2014) and served as a keynote speaker for the New Jersey Development Council Leadership Conference (2009), Monmouth University Student Employment Awards (2008), and Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc (2013). His backpack research, in cooperation with Montclair State University, was featured in the New York Times and Star Ledger. He was also nominated to the Seton Hall Community Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the NJDOE Office of Governance & Leadership Development.
Dr. Purnell was selected as the 2015 NJ State Superintendent of the Year by NJASA. In November 2014, his district will receive a District of Distinction award (District Administration magazine), he will attend the Future Ready Superintendent Summit (ConnectEd Initiative) hosted by the White House and the US Department of Education, and he will be inducted into his High School Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the You Make a Difference Award, Phoenix Award for Improving Student Achievement, Governor’s Teaching Recognition Award, and Weston Teaching in Excellence Award. He also received a Geraldine Dodge Fellowship School Leadership Award to study the Italian educational system.
21st Century Leadership has always been a part of the fabric of his being. As a middle school science educator in Montclair in 2001, Dr. Purnell applied for a grant entitled Internet Accountability where parents could log into class and absent students could attend through a webcam and instant messenger. He submitted his first community blog entry in October of 2008 and his first tweet in October of 2009. Dr. Purnell’s blog was given the 2010 Top School District Blog Award and he received VIP status from #HouseofEdTech in June 2014.
I am Paul Michael Benoit. I am a life-long educator and lover of learning, as a result of being raised by two parents who modeled a life that encompassed a strong work-ethic and a passion for enjoying life through work and play. All of this is and must be encompassed by a strong commitment to faith and spiritual development that is at the center of all we do, whether it is faith in God, commitment to helping others, and being a positive example – preferably, in my belief, a combination of the three! It is this example that has guided me through my own human journey as a husband, a father, an educator, and a member of society.
I was raised a “military brat”, as my dad served in the United States Air Force for 28 years. Being raised on military bases provided many opportunities for me to develop a unique view of the world: A “successful life” is a culmination of our collective efforts to move each other and ourselves towards eternal life. It is through my experiences of living in 8 different states and over-seas, in the Republic of the Philippines, that my commitment to God, Family, Community, and self developed. Anyone who has worked with me, whether through work, church, or other community organizations, knows that I am committed to the philosophy, “We are all part of something bigger than ourselves.” This view is evident in my commitments to the school, community, and state within which I live, as well as within my involvement in the parishes within which I have worshipped over the years.
My father was raised in northeastern Connecticut. He was from a small mill-town that was rooted in French-Canadian richness. Being the oldest son in a very traditional Catholic home, he explored the seminary, even attending for a period of time. God had different plans for my father (and ultimately me!). In his year of discernment he decided that entering the military and serving a hitch would provide him additional time to determine God’s call in his life. During that time he met my mother, who had immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia, via Germany. Her life’s journey had led her to be spirited out of Czechoslovakia at the age of 14, leaving her mother behind (her father had been killed by soldiers during WWII invasion of Czechoslovakia). She stayed in a work camp in Germany (Munich) and gained skills in the secretarial pool, working for Radio-Free Europe. She, obviously, had a much different route to her adult life. Through all of her experiences she remained committed to making the world a great place for those around her, this being one of the strengths that drew her and my father towards each other. They married in 1959. On February 1, 1964 they had their fourth and youngest child, Paul Michael Benoit. I was sibling to Colette Laura, Mark Joseph, and Gregory David. All of us were raised in a loving, civic-minded, and spiritual home. My parents recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary and continue strong in their love of each other, rooted in their mutual love of God, family, country, and community
As you can see, all of my raising took place on and around military bases. Growing up on a variety of military bases was an interesting experience. The military, by nature, promotes the opportunity to learn tolerance, understanding, and sense of community in both a local AND global sense! What a unique formation experience!
My personal educational experiences ranged from the “strict” structure of Catholic Schools in K-2nd grades and again as a Freshman in High School to catechism classes to various public school opportunities in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii, and even three years in a Department of Defense Public School in the Philippines. My undergraduate degree was awarded from the College of Santa Fe, a Catholic College run by the Christian Brothers (De La Salle). These opportunities gave me a strong and varied set of experiences from which to build my educational philosophy.
As a sophomore at the College of Santa Fe I met the love of my life, Lucia Lorraine Gallegos. I was immediately attracted to her smile, her genuine selflessness, and her faith. Lucia is and remains to this day the most beautiful person in my life: Spiritually, socially, and emotionally. She has always had a way of exuding a spiritual and human beauty that invites those around her to be a better person. Through our college years we developed a life-long love through sharing faith, fun, hope, and life! This relationship has developed into a 30-year love affair, first as a budding friendship and kinship, and for the last 28 years, as a marriage that has allowed us to share life and love, raising three beautiful children, continuing our faith’s journey, working together as educators, and simply looking forward to growing old together.
Two and a half years into our marriage we welcomed Matthew Nicholas Benoit into our world of family and faith. Matthew has grown into a young man who cares, lovingly, for his family. He lives in Alamogordo, NM, and works for electric cooperative, as a systems designer. In October of 1989 Alexis Christine Benoit entered the world. She has grown into a beautiful young lady, working for the Dora Consolidated Schools. She and her husband, Luis Davalos, share three wonderful children: Abraham, Christian, and Kailey. Alexis is a confident, competent, and loving young lady, much in the path of her mother. Hannah Renee Benoit joined us in December, 1990. She is the last of the children with whom we have been blessed. She is a hard-working, intelligent, and caring person who recently completed a Bacherlor’s Degree at NMSU, in nursing and is a practicing nurse in Las Cruces, NM.
As mentioned before my wife and I are educators. Lucia recently retired after 28 years of classroom teaching. As in her personal life, her professional life has been one of commitment to those she serves. She is, not just in my eyes, an excellent teacher. I am a school administrator and have been for the last 23 years, having spent my first five years teaching and coaching. Our education careers, in administration, teaching, and coaching have been a great enhancement to the life we have shared, allowing us the opportunity to be with our kids, watch them grow, and have the opportunity to share in their many school experiences both first hand and from the “cheap seats”. Since we chose to spend our careers in small schools (5 years: Tucumcari; 12 Years: Estancia; 2 Years: Animas; and the last 8 Years: Floyd), we have been blessed with the ability to be directly involved in the growth of our children and hundreds of students we have been blessed to serve.
As advocates of public education and, specifically small, rural schools, I have always worked to be part of the church, civic, and community facets of life where we live. As such, I have served as a village councilman, am currently an elected member of the county’s hospital board, member (and president) of the local Lion’s Club, president of my Church’s finance council, music/choir director for the Church, and have served in other capacities over the years in Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Little League Boards, and general service. I point these out in relation to my advocacy for public education because through all of these activities, I promote and encourage all to see the value of our public education system and the possibilities of all students to become productive citizens in a variety of ways.
In addition to my civic and church commitments, I have advocated at the local and state levels for Public Education! Since becoming an educator I have been blessed with supportive administrators and school boards that have allowed (and, moreso, encouraged) me to take roles at the state level to advocate not only for the local school district, but for New Mexico’s Public Schools. As a classroom teacher I became involved in a state-wide learning initiative, based on principles out of Brown University’s “Coalition of Essential Schools” (Ted Sizer), through “Re:Learning New Mexico”. This opportunity was a great springboard for my school, district, and for me to gain insight into how the educational process works and differs in the varied regions and schools in our state (alone!). My networking and presentations through this program, along with my classroom success, provided me with background that allowed me to gain my first principal position, as a middle school principal in a school of 250 students in grades 6-8. I served in this position for 9.5 years. During that time the school advanced into one of the top middle schools in the state for curriculum development, parent engagement, and student gains. I was invited to serve on the NM Middle School Association Advisory Board and served in that capacity for most of my tenure. In 2000, our district was opening a new elementary school and my foresighted superintendent asked me to serve as principal to transition the district into this new school. Her goal was not only to assist the district in the transition, but to allow me an opportunity to learn a new element of the education field, including construction, elementary education (of which I had little direct knowledge), and managing a larger staff of educators. Her foresight allowed me the opportunity to grow and be better prepared for the next step, in the same district, which was to serve as Assistant Superintendent in my first central office position. After two years in that position (and 12 years total in the school district), it was time to “spread my wings” and apply for superintendent positions in our state. After serving two years as superintendent in a remote, isolated district in the boot heel of the state, in 2005 my wife and I moved the family back to the east-central region of the state, where I have served the last 10 years (and presently) as the Superintendent of the Floyd Municipal Schools. In those ten years I have maintained my professional commitment to statewide public education. And have been blessed with a board of education that recognizes that the success and promotion of statewide initiatives impacts each and every district, school, student, and teacher in the state! My board has allowed me to serve in board and officer capacities for the State’s athletic association (NMAA), the State’s Administrative Coalition (NMCEL) and the State’s Superintendent’s Association (NMSSA). While these take time from my personal and professional commitments, my board is supportive of public education advocacy. They were honored when I served this past year as the NMSSA president and proud of the collegial recognition given when I was named New Mexico’s Superintendent of the Year in July, 2014.
Through all of these experiences, from education, family, work, and commitment to community, I have become who I am. I am very involved in promoting the common good, professionally, personally/civically, and spiritually, In my community. Because of being raised a “military brat”, we were always taught to “bloom where you are planted”, which is what I have attempted to capture in this lengthy auto-biography.
I am a native Nevadan, born in Elko. I attended school in Elko graduating from Elko High School in 1978. I graduated from Boise State University in 1983 with a BBA in Accounting. I was employed with Kafoury Armstrong, CPA’s from June 1983 to January 1987, worked for the State of Nevada as an accountant at NYTC (Nevada Youth Training Center) from January of 1987 through March of 1988, and I was hired by the Elko County School District in April 1988 as the Business Manager. Since that time I was promoted to the Comptroller position in 2001, promoted to an Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Facilities position in 2007, and Superintendent in January 2010. . I am married with two sons.
James T. Langlois, Ed.D., has been the District Superintendent of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES for the past ten years. He served the previous eight years as Superintendent in Goshen, NY. Before that, he was an Assistant Superintendent on Long Island and worked in a number of leadership positions in the public schools of Manhattan and the Bronx. He began his career in public education 49 years ago as a high school English teacher in Connecticut. He has served in different officer positions and as President of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS). He has also served on ten NYSCOSS committees. He served for seven years on the governing board of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and for several years on the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Executive Committee. He has taught graduate educational leadership courses at Fordham University and SUNY New Paltz.
My professional career began in 1974 as a high school social studies teacher and coach. I have had the opportunity to experience public education administration at all grade levels including elementary curriculum specialist, middle school principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. As Superintendent of the Orrville City Schools, I successfully spearheaded the passage of three voter issues, implemented an all-day, every day kindergarten program and initiated a self-funded insurance program. In my current role as Superintendent of Lakewood City Schools I have led the district in significant cost reductions, passage of two tax issues and worked cohesively with our Board of Education and Treasurer. In 2012 we were ranked 12th in the state in the value-added measure. I have worked with BASA over the past 11 years to develop and improve the Executive Coaching Program which connects all first year Ohio superintendents to a mentor.
Family is extremely important in my life. My wife, Nancy, teaches in our school district. Our daughter, Libby, is a teacher at the Ohio School for the Blind. We have two sons. Todd is a Human Resource specialist for an international firm, and our son, Chad, enjoys living in a group home. My passion outside of education involves being with family, reading, and traveling. Our service dog, Parnell is a much-beloved visitor in classrooms throughout the school district.
The Stillwater Board of Education approved the selection of Dr. Ann Caine as Superintendent of Stillwater Public Schools on February 25, 2008. She began full-time as the SPS superintendent on May 1, 2008 and finds it hard to believe that she is completing her seventh year as their leader!
Dr. Caine earned bachelor and master degrees from Kansas State University and her doctorate in Educational Administration from Oklahoma State University. She has been an educator for 36 years as a teacher, principal and administrator with Putnam City and Moore, Oklahoma school districts. She began her teaching career in Junction City, KS, working with emotionally disturbed children.
Dr. Caine serves on eight boards in the Stillwater community and throughout the state. She is a member of the Oklahoma Vision Committee, a CCOSA/OSSBA initiative, which has met for the past two years creating a new vision for public education in Oklahoma. To help spread the message about Stillwater Public Schools, she is on the radio every Thursday and on television once a month. She is on a second radio station once a month. Because she has been out of the classroom for 26 years, Dr. Caine has for the past five years substituted in her schools ten days each year, as an “Undercover Boss”. She does not want to lose touch with how hard her teachers, support staff and site administrators work each day.
Dr. Caine has been married to her husband, Tracy for 36 years. They have two children: daughter, Laura and her husband, Conner Steen, and son, Chris, all graduates of OSU.
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader; they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role-always about the goal.
In the summer of 1960, Randy Schild, was born in Tillamook, Oregon. His parents, Harold and Betty Schild, met at Tillamook High School and married several years after graduation. The middle of three children, Randy is the only boy. His father is the retired CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association and his mother spent her career as the owner and manager of two local restaurants. Through their leadership and dedication, both at home and in the workplace, Randy learned the importance of work ethic at a very young age.
Randy attended classes in the Tillamook School District and graduated from Tillamook High School. As an elementary student, he began participating in several sports. Through dedication and hard work, by the time he reached high school he was able to achieve recognition as an All-State athlete in three sports while maintaining academic honors. As a young athlete, he began to understand that being a part of a team meant being part of something bigger than himself. When a teammate was successful, it was good for the team as a whole and everyone was in it together. He was able to experience collective success when working as a cohesive unit.
Randy attended Northwest Nazarene College to study business with the intention of managing the family restaurant. During his senior year of studies, he discovered the undeniable passion and calling for teaching students. He made the decision to pursue a teaching career, knowing that what mattered most was making a difference, not collecting a paycheck. Completing his studies in Business Administration, Randy was the first in his family to earn a college degree. Randy remained in Idaho to complete a fifth year education program. During his last year, Randy also became the head golf coach for the college.
Upon completion of his studies, Randy knew he wanted to return to his hometown to carry out his career. Although jobs with the school district were not available in the year he graduated, Randy waited tables at the family restaurant and substituted in the high school until the right job opened. Soon enough, he was offered a job as the High School Business Teacher in 1984. The job, however, came with a contingency and responsibility outside the classroom. Upon accepting the teaching position, Randy was also appointed as the THS Head Baseball Coach. Although the coaching position was a surprise to his career, it became one that was hard to let go. Randy spent 13 years in the classroom and as the head coach of Tillamook Baseball, leading them to many winning seasons, several league championships, and state playoffs. Randy still maintains relationships with many of his players. As the head coach, Randy was named Oregon Baseball Coach of the Year and later inducted into the Oregon Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. After his coaching retirement, the baseball field was named “Schild Field” in his honor.
Observing Randy’s success, he was approached by school administrators who encouraged him to consider furthering his career in administration. With four children of his own, Randy pondered the idea and came to the conclusion that an administrative role would allow him to have a larger impact on a school, rather than being confined to a field or a classroom. He realized that he could initiate change that would have lasting effects on the quality of education his children and grandchildren would receive.
Seeking to make a difference on a larger scale, Randy completed his administrative degree through Portland State University and a few months later was offered an Assistant Principal position at a neighboring school district’s Junior/Senior High School. After only six months as the Assistant Principal of Nea-kah-nie, Randy was appointed to the Principal position. As a school in crisis, ranking as one of the lowest performing in the county, reform was necessary. In a short three years, through collective building leadership, the pendulum swung to the other side, with the school achieving top academic success. This drastic change drew the attention of local leaders, and Randy was named Tillamook County Educator of the Year as a result.
In 2001, the Tillamook School District Board of Directors recruited Randy with a job offer. Without ever filling out an application or going through a formal process, he was hired as the Tillamook School District Superintendent. The decision to leave an environment that was rewarding and reaping the benefits of change was difficult, but Randy knew the Tillamook School District was in the midst of crisis, facing severe staff conflict and lack of trust in the administration. They needed help and Randy was eager to make a difference in his hometown.
Randy came to Tillamook for one purpose, to make the education system better for the kids of the community. Returning home as the Superintendent presented the opportunity to lead former co-workers, and more uniquely, his former teachers who were still on staff. During the last 14 years as Superintendent, Randy states that building relationships has resulted in significant district success. Henry Ford states it best, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a process. Working together is success.”
Through strong leadership and teamwork, the Tillamook School District has become known throughout the state for educational reform and innovation. As the reputation of the District grew, the opportunities to influence change on a state level expanded as well. Randy has been sought for several positions throughout the state. A few of those positions include:
Oregon School Activity Association Board of Directors and President
COSA Executive Board
Charter member of the State Vision and Policy Committee
Three times, named K-12 State Advisor to the Oregon State Board of Education
2015 Oregon Superintendent of the Year
Although Randy’s career and leadership has drawn the recognition of state and local leaders, he continues to simply remain a teacher at heart. Randy considers himself a person who has been called to do a job, and that job is to create the best educational opportunities possible for the students of Tillamook.
Dr. James P. Capolupo is currently the Superintendent of the Springfield School District in Delaware County Pennsylvania, west of Philadephia. He is the longest tenured Superintendent in Delaware County. Prior to becoming the Superintendent, he held the position of Director of Teaching and Learning which was also in Springfield. Dr. Capolupo's background in education began as an elementary, middle school and high school band director. His first administrtivie post was a Coordinator of Fine Arts. He was also an Assistant Principal, Acting Principal, and Principal. In addition, he was a Director of Elementray Education.
Dr. Capolupo has also taught at Cabrini College, Neumann University, Arcadia University, Chestnut Hill College, Lincoln University and Princeton Univetrsity.
His academic preparation includes a B.S. in Music Education; M.A. in Education; Certificate of Advanced Study in Education; D.M.A. in Music and Post Doctoral work in Educational Leadership. He also received an an honory D.H.L. from Cabrini College where he was recently commencement speaker for the Graduate Division. His most recent Academic study has been at the University of Pennsylvaniia.
Dr. Capolupo is on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Assocaition of School Administrtors where he serves as the Membership Chair. He also serves on the Professional Development Committee amd the Resolutions Committee.
He has presented at: Villanova University; University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Titile 1 Conference in Pittsburgh; Superitendents and Principals in the 21st Century in New England; International Reading Conference in Atlanta; Pennsylvania Guidance Couselors Confrence in Hershey; Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference also in Lancaster; Pennsylvania School Board Assoctaion in Hershey; National School Boards Association in Boston and New Orleans. He was a member of a delagation of Pennsylvania Educators that was invited to the White House. He has presented to various members of the U.S. Department of Education on his leadership work in Literacy and College Placement on three occasions. He is co auotior of a book , "The Hidden Superitendet" that will be publised and released in late 2014.
Dr. Capolupo has received the Robert Flynn Distiguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
In his spare time, Dr. Capolupo has served as a judge for the Miss America Pagent Parade for 10 years. He has also served as a judge for the Philadelpha Mummers Parade for 7 years. He is a judge for the Cavalcade of Bands and has judged more than 1000 high school marching band and Jazz contests involving approximatly 1 milliom students. He has been inducted into the Cavalcade Hall of Fame. Dr. Capolupo is also a professional saxophinst and has performed along the East Coast. For the past 25 yedars he has taken thousads of high school musoiicians on a summer concert tour of Europe.
Barry Ricci, Rhode Island's 2015 Superintendent of the Year, is chief learner and leader of the Chariho Regional School District, a three-town district located in southern Rhode Island. Superintendent Ricci believes strongly in the power and potential of a high quality system of traditional public education. With the knowledge that courageous and visionary leadership are critical for success, he has led Chariho by focusing on (1) increasing the academic rigor in all facets of the educational program, (2) intervening early and intensively when students struggle, and (3) establishing the highest of expectations for student performance and conduct. Superintendent Ricci's most recent initiatives, the implementation of a 1:1 initiative with MacBook Airs at Chariho Regional High School and the extension of Chariho's world language program to the elementary level, beginning in kindergarten, will bring additional success opportunities to the students of the District.
A thirty-five year veteran educator, Rhode Island's 2015 Superintendent of the Year is a graduate of Providence College and Rhode Island College. Barry Ricci has written a number of published articles and has presented at conferences and workshops across Rhode Island. The proud father of two grown sons, Barry has been happily married to his wife, Lisa, for nearly thirty years. Barry and Lisa reside in Foster, Rhode Island.
Dr. Russell W. Booker is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is serving in his fifth year as the Superintendent in Spartanburg County School District Seven. Prior to assuming the role as District Seven’s superintendent, he served as superintendent of York School District One for four years. He began his career as an educator in Monroe, North Carolina, in 1991. In 1992, he returned home to Spartanburg, South Carolina, and worked as a teacher, counselor, coach, principal and district level administrator.
Dr. Booker received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wingate University in North Carolina, and his Masters, Educational Specialist, and Doctorate degrees from the University of South Carolina - Columbia.
In November 2007 he led the York One community through the successful passage of a school bond referendum that spearheaded a $100 million capital improvement campaign. As superintendent of School District Seven he has guided the district and community through a bold, comprehensive restructuring/transformational initiative, which has gained local, state, and national recognition. The district recently launched a district-wide technology initiative, 7 Ignites, that placed a personal mobile learning device in the hands of every student in grades 3-12. The district serves over 7,200 students and 1,200 employees in an urban school setting.
Dr. Booker has been described as an inspirational leader, who creates partnerships and solutions. His communication and collaboration with various community groups including civic, non-profit and faith-based organizations have enabled the school district to find resources which have provided robust offerings for students across the district. His favorite quote, “Relationships are all there is,” by Margaret Wheatley, sums up his expectations for himself and those in District Seven. Dr. Booker believes that through establishing, cultivating, and maintaining positive relationships anything can be accomplished.
Dr. Booker currently serves on the board of his alma mater, Wingate University. In 2008, he was recognized as Wingate University's Outstanding Young Alumnus and received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Greater York Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, he was recognized as South Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year by the CATE Division. In 2013, he received the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Urban League of the Upstate, was named “Man of the Year” at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and was recognized by the Spartanburg Chapter of Omega Psi Phi as the “Citizen of the Year.” This May, Dr. Booker received South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) top honor - 2015 South Carolina Superintendent of the Year – for his willingness to take “bold, innovative actions.”
Dr. Booker is a South Carolina Liberty Fellow, a graduate of the Diversity Leaders Initiative through the Riley Institute at Furman, and the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System's, Regional Fellows program. He is a member of the Spartanburg Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., The Southside Lions Club, and The Spartanburg Downtown Rotary Club. He serves as the board chairman of the United Way of the Piedmont, is a board member with the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), Spartanburg's Village Network, Transform South Carolina, the Spartanburg Commission of Higher Education, and SCASA’s Executive Committee, where he serves at the President of the Superintendent’s Division.
Russell has been married to Sheryl McClerklin Booker for 19 years. They are the proud parents of two sons, Grant (13) and Maxwell (11). In his spare time, Dr. Booker enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf. The Bookers reside on the Eastside of Spartanburg and are members of Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
At the start of my 3rd year of attending Yankton College and majoring in Biology and Chemistry I was approached by a family friend who happened to be the Chairman of the Education Department. He asked if I was interested in pursuing teaching and coaching as a profession. He gave me an opportunity to do a classroom observation and I decided to immediately enter the education courses needed to get a teaching and coaching certificate. I graduated in May finished the coursework during the summer session and student taught in the fall. The teacher I student taught for became ill and I spent the rest of the year as a long-term substitute teacher for the Yankton School District.
I spent the next thirteen years coaching and teaching in Yankton. I taught various levels of students (middle and high school) and different math, science and computer classes as well as teaching in the alternative school for a year. I took the opportunity to assume various leadership roles as a teacher and served as the Yankton Education Association President for a number of years. I also served on a number of South Dakota Education Association state committees and received a leadership award. My high school principal approached me about attending an aspiring principal workshop. I enjoyed the opportunity and started on my Master’s Degree in School Administration at the University of South Dakota.
I was selected as the Middle School Principal in Chamberlain upon completion of my degree. Soon after the superintendent that had hired me left Chamberlain and I quickly became the Interim Superintendent at the age of 35 and after one year of building principal experience. The next year I was made the Superintendent and spent the next 13 years in Chamberlain. During that time I completed my specialist and doctorate and became fully involved with the state administrative organizations. Completing my education and becoming involved in state and national professional organizations have been a great benefit to me in helping me to build my capacity as a leader. My focus was on instructional leadership and building capacity of the community, school board and teaching staff to implement a continuous instructional improvement model. The district was able to make significant improvement in student learning during that time period.
Five years ago I was selected as the superintendent of the Rapid City Areas Schools. Leading the 2nd largest school district in South Dakota has been a challenge but also a truly rewarding experience. I have worked to restore fiscal accountability while embracing the current research on instructional improvement. We have been able to significantly reduce spending but put in place a transformative professional learning community that is helping us to provide a higher level of student learning prior to the spending reductions. I continue to focus on instructional leadership as well as capacity building to achieve the mission, vision and goals of the Raid City Area Schools.
I grew up on a farm, but I was never much of a farmer. I loved books, writing, plays, and far-away places with exotic names. I went to a very small unit school and when I was in fourth grade, my teacher, Mrs. McKinney read us a story about Maine lobsters. I worried for weeks about how a thing as big and scary as a lobster could be in the ocean while people were swimming. I talked to my teacher and she started to explain how big the ocean really was, how deep, and how filled it was with ugly creatures.
I have never forgotten how much time my fourth-grade teacher took to help me see a world that I did not really understand. I learned all about oceans, crustaceans, sharks, and deep sea dives. I did not visit the ocean until I was 16, but when I stood on the beach looking out at the water and horizon, I thanked Mrs. McKinney and my teachers at Boonshill Elementary for allowing a child to see the world without ever leaving the family farm.
The power of public education and the gifts it brings have been so important to me and my family. I have one son and he and my daughter-in-law are educators, teaching high school physical education and high school social studies. My sister works in my system and has for over 30 years as an elementary pupil services coordinator. I am proud that my family wanted to be a part of our public education system. I am fortunate to have my parents and my family close by and I have attended school and worked in this system all of my life. Except for the time before I was old enough for school and my three years away in college, I have been either attending or working in this school system.
Without public school, I could never have had the opportunity to reach my goals. I always wanted to teach. I wanted to be a guidance counselor and a curriculum supervisor. While I never dreamed of being a superintendent, I now spend my days working to help all the children in our county have the same public school experiences that I had in my youth.
My mother and father both read for pleasure and more importantly for information. Our small home library was filled with reference books that were well used and well loved. I believe in teaching students to read so that they will love books, grow intellectually, challenge themselves, and seek greatness. I hope that our students will learn to feel the power of numbers. I want them to see them, manipulate them mentally, and then to finally realize the universal language of mathematics. I grew up with men and women who could do practical mathematics without paper and pencil. I want that for our children. Being a student of history, I want them to learn from our past. I still think we should teach them cursive writing so they can sign their names with pride on bank notes, marriage licenses, and business forms. I want them to understand government and civics, to become good citizens, and to take the responsibility of voting seriously as they grow into adulthood.
Although those may seem like goals we would all share, it gets harder every day to focus on the simple truths about public schools. Today, people seem to be far more concerned with standardized test scores, pre-packaged standards, rubrics, and accountability measures than they are with the simple magic that strong, well-planned engaging lessons can provide. I know that there are places in our world where public education may not work for all children, but there are so many places where it is still a gift to children and to their communities.
I have a great family, a loving community, and good friends. I know that it takes a village to raise a child, but to be successful in the role of superintendent, that village support is absolutely critical. My parents made sure I had the best education possible. For farmers who had never attended college, it was their greatest joy to see me achieve in school, be employed in work I loved, and to see me visit some of the world. I am in the role of superintendent because they believed that anything was possible. My dad told me when I left for college, “Men, friends, jobs, and hobbies can come and go, but your education is a gift that no one can ever take away from you”. That passion to learn was instilled in me by my family, and I feel that it is my job to make sure the 4,100 children under my care feel the same way about their opportunities.
Dr. Michael D. McFarland
Superintendent of Schools
Lancaster Independent School District
Dr. Michael D. McFarland was named Superintendent of Lancaster ISD in May of 2010 and is in his fifth year of leadership in this district. He is an outstanding, energetic, dynamic leader with a proven track record of transforming educational organizations into high-performing institutions. He is currently leading the successful transformation of Lancaster ISD— one of the largest predominately African American school districts in the state, with more than 85% African American students and more than 87% of students receiving free or reduced lunch services. In spite of very challenging circumstances, the student performance over the last few years has consistently increased and acceleration toward the elimination of the achievement gap is ongoing.
During McFarland’s first two years at the helm, Lancaster students have shown outstanding academic growth including achieving the highest graduation rate of all Best Southwest Member Cities.
As a result of McFarland’s leadership, Lancaster ISD has been recognized as a Texas High Performing School Consortium member and is one of only 22 districts in the state to receive this selection. Also in 2012, Lancaster ISD was named as a recipient of a multimillion dollar STEM grant totaling $4.8 million. The district-wide STEM grant is the largest financial contribution made to an educational institution by the Texas Instrument Foundation in support of the implementation of the first STEM for all district in Texas. Lancaster ISD aspires to become the cynosure (center) for STEM for all education in Texas and has designed an innovative framework that will ensure exposure, equity and excellence for all students. McFarland remains committed to ensuring that when students leave Lancaster ISD that they will leave with more than a high school diploma. They will graduate with choices and opportunities.
Prior to working in Lancaster, McFarland served as Assistant Superintendent of Achievement for Champaign Unit 4 Public Schools in Champaign, Illinois. He has also been a high school and middle school principal, and is a professional developer and motivational speaker with the educational consulting firm E3, Empowering, Educational Excellence. McFarland is a native of Jasper, Texas and began his educational career in 1993 as an algebra teacher. He has a Bachelor Degree of Business Administration from Baylor University, his Master Degree of Education and superintendent’s certificate from Stephen F. Austin University and his Doctorate Degree from Baylor University.
He is married to Cynthia McFarland and has two daughters, Kharis and Michiah, and two sons Tyler and Jarrett.
Marshal was born and reared in Southern California, the son of a career educator. He received his B.S. degree in Mathematics Education from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1979 and his Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He received his Ed.D. from the University of Utah in 1997 in Educational Leadership.
He started his teaching career in 1979 in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada, teaching 7th grade math. He also taught at Valley High School in Las Vegas before moving his family to Utah in 1983, where he taught math at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden. In 1984, Marshal was named Assistant Principal at Ben Lomond, a position he held for three years. In 1987, Marshal became the District Coordinator over math, science, technology and assessment. In 1991, he became the principal of Highland Middle School. The Ogden District named him as the Personnel Director in 1995 and was named the Executive Director of Human Resource Services for the district in 1996. Over the next 10 years, besides being the Human Resources Executive Director, Marshal was responsible for the construction of a new elementary school, the development of a strategic facilities plan, and the passing of a $100 million construction bond.
In 2006, Marshal was named as Superintendent of the Logan City School District. He has led them through changing student demographics, the downturn in the economy, the passage of a $1.3 million voted levy for increased revenue for salaries and programs and a $55 million construction bond.
Marshal is the past president of the Weber State Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. He also has served twice on the Board of Directors of the Utah chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (UASCD). He was president of UASCD in 2003-2004. As president, he served on the national board of directors for ASCD. He has been president of the Utah chapter of CEFPI (Council of Eductional Facility Planners International), serving from 2011 to 2012. He currently serves on the Utah State Instructional Materials Commission. He also has been active in the local Rotary club as well as the Logan Downtown Alliance.
Marshal and his wife, Julie, have two married daughters, Brynn (Nate) Eyre and Kate (Brysen) Packer, and five grandchildren. They have been very involved in church activities over the years. Marshal has plans to retire after 36 years as an educator in June 2015.
Pat Murphy became Superintendent of the Arlington Public Schools on July 1, 2009. He is a native of Northern Virginia, current resident of Arlington County and has been an educator since 1988. Dr. Murphy attended W.T. Woodson High School and received his bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from Virginia Tech.
Since joining APS as Superintendent, Dr. Murphy has focused on academic rigor and academic and course planning. He has also highlighted the continuum of the educational journey for students from Pre-Kindergarten through Post-Secondary, emphasizing preparation of students and families to ensure successful transitions between all school levels (elementary to middle, middle to high, and high to post-secondary opportunities). His continuous improvement efforts led to the recent Medallion of Excellence awarded to Arlington Public Schools by the U.S. Senate Productivity Quality Award - Virginia touting APS's alignment with the Baldrige criteria.
As part of this emphasis, he has encouraged active parent involvement in helping families plan their children’s course selections. Dr. Murphy stresses to families the importance of helping students to “stretch” beyond their “comfort zones” so that students enroll in challenging courses that will prepare them for the greater challenges of college and other career pursuits.
Early in his tenure with APS, Dr. Murphy oversaw the drafting of a new comprehensive Division Strategic Plan that sets measurable goals to achieve excellence. Since his arrival in Arlington, he has also emphasized the importance of continuous improvement as a means to ensure that APS continues to be a high-performing school division. Part of this vision includes benchmarking the school division’s performance against that of comparable school districts across the nation. Under his leadership, APS has also put data front-and-center and is working to provide greater transparency by providing greater access to the data. One element of that increased accountability is the new APS Dashboard, where APS performance is available for all to review. The Dashboard can be found at www.apsva.us/dashboard.
In more recent years, Dr. Murphy has guided a variety of stakeholder engagement initiatives to confront growing enrollment and tight budgets. Most notably, community participation has been critical to the success the More Seats for More Students (MSMS) program to address the school division’s school crowding, and the recent budget deliberations to address the ever-growing enrollment in the face of tight fiscal times. Among the new feedback methods implemented by Dr. Murphy and his team have been several new online tools. These web-based options have allowed members of the community the opportunity to share their ideas and vision by re-drawing school boundaries for the community’s consideration or proposing alternative ways to balance the budget.
Born and raised in Ontario,Canada in 1965. I went on to attend the University of Waterloo (1984-1988) where I graduated with a B.Sc. (Honors, Biology). I then entered the corporate world and, after four years, decided to return to school to become a teacher (this act caused quite a stir with my parents who, at the time, could not understand why I would quite such a lucrative corporate position to begin a career in education that paid substantially less). I earned a B.Ed. and Masters of Administration (Finance) from the University of New Brunswick (1994). I then completed a Ph.D. (Administration) at the University of Saskatchewan in 1997.
After completing my doctorate, I accepted a position as the Assistant Registrar of Enrollment Management at the University of Saskatchewan (20,000 undergraduate college). A year later, I was approached to become the Superintendent of Administration at the Prairie West School Division in southwest Saskatchewan (1998). After nearly 5 years in that role, I was approached by the Orange Southwest Supervisory Union (OSSU) in Randolph, Vermont to become their new Superintendent of Schools (2002 to Present). And when I say approached, I mean that two Board members from Randolph, Vermont actually traveled to my house in Swift Current, Saskatchewan (Canada) to convince me (and my wife) to move to Vermont.
Since 2002, I have served the OSSU as its Superintendent of Schools. Additionally, I have held Adjunct Professor and Lecturer positions for over 20 years at universities and colleges in Canada and the United States. Lastly, I have served on numerous community based boards (Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, etc...) and professional boards/organizations (VSA, Licensing, etc...).
|Dennis Kip Herren||WA||
Kip has 41 years of educational experience and always wanted to be a teacher and coach from his earliest days. He overcame polio as a youngster and established a career as a competitive wrestler and coach that began as a polio poster boy. He continues to help fight worldwide polio as a Rotarian.
His supportive family includes wife Julie, a school psychologist, two daughters and a son. His younger daughter has severe autism and was his inspiration for his doctoral dissertation, The Current Status of Public Education for Autistic Youth in Thirty Two School Districts in Washington State.
His life experiences are instrumental in his belief that all students can learn with a creative and research-based approach. He learned from his mother and father, through recovering from polio, that people working together can overcome any hardship or challenge. Doctors said that Kip would never be able to work an 8 hour day job and that is true because he puts in 12 hours every day, working for the success of all students.
Dennis Kip Herren
Jamie Nutter has served as the Superintendent of the Fennimore Community School District for the past seven years. Prior to his service in the Fennimore Community School District he served as Winskill Elementary Principal in the Lancaster Community School District. As an elementary principal he led several initiatives to increase school achievement levels. As a superintendent he utilizes a transformational leadership model to empower staff through professional learning communities. This approach has resulted in positive change that bridged achievement gaps among students who were economically disadvantaged using curriculum-based measures. These results yielded the highest ACT results in school history with higher participation rates and increased achievement levels in reading, math, and science at the elementary level. At the beginning of his tenure fewer than 1% of all high school students were engaged in Advanced Placement and now that number is 20% and growing. This past year 100% of seniors at Fennimore High were enrolled in at least two articulated classes with and 70% in at least one Advanced Placement course. As a result of these improvements, Fennimore High School was ranked 12th in Wisconsin in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report and improved to 9th in 2014. Also in 2014, Fennimore Elementary was nominated for a National Blue Ribbon Award. Jamie also has recruited and worked with community experts on several school initiatives who volunteered their expertise to help improve efficiencies. Most notably, he created a district energy management team whose charge was to decrease energy consumption by 25%. The team reached this goal and created a positive cash flow, which saved a teaching position and named Fennimore Community School District as an Energy Star School. This community approach was also used to create a strategic plan, which one outcome in 2014 resulted in 84% of district residents voting in favor of a referendum to increase the total square footage in the high school by 50% and address security concerns. In addition to serving students and staff, he has provided service to the City of Fennimore and surrounding areas. He serves on the Fennimore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Fennimore Industrial and Economic Development Corporation, Vacation Church School Instructor, Forming Fennimore's Future Steering Committee, City of Fennimore Green Energy Council, Little League Baseball Coach, Middle School Wrestling Coach, Grid-Iron Youth Coach, and the Community Safety Net Program. He was named 2012 Fennimore Citizen of the Year for his community service.
Jamie and his wife Stacey of 23 years have four children: Alexa, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh majoring in English Education; Alston, a freshman at Fennimore High School; Aidan, a seventh grader at Fennimore Middle School; and Amryn, a second grade student at Fennimore Elementary.
6 Ours Street
Petersburg, WV 26847
Phone: 304-257-2274, 304-358-8113
Teaching - Health, Physical Education, Social Studies
Vocational - Permanent Status
Administrative - Principal K-12; Superintendent; Supervision
March 2005 - Present
Superintendent, Pendleton County Schools, Franklin, WV
2002 to March 2005
Principal, Pendleton County Middle/High School, Franklin, WV
1999 to 2002
Work Based Learning Coordinator, South Branch Career & Technical Center, Petersburg, WV
1997 to 1999
Principal, Petersburg High School, Petersburg, WV
1992 to 1997
Assistant Principal/Athletic Director, Petersburg High School, Petersburg, WV
1982 to 1992
Teacher/Coach, Petersburg High School, Petersburg, WV
1978 to 1982
Teacher/Coach, Union High School, Mount Storm, WV
Project Leadership Member/Active Participant
Sponsored by the West Virginia School Boards Association
Training for Prospective Superintendent candidates regarding the role, function, and duties of the position.
Appointed by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activity Commission (WVSSAC) to direct numerous basketball and baseball regional games.
Secretary/Treasurer West Virginia Association of School Administrators
Member – WV State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorea Marple’s Superintendent’s Advisory Committee
Administrative Chair – South Branch Career and Technical Center Administrative Cabinet
Member West Virginia Association of School Administrators – Chair of Legislative Committee.
Member Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors
Participated on West Virginia State Department of Education Accreditation Teams to access and evaluate county educational processes.
Attended the Governor’s Principal Academy and follow-up workshops.
Vice President/Member Executive Committee of West Virginia Association of School
Member, Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Governance and Administration
President, West Virginia Association of School Administrators, 2013-2014
2014-2015 West Virginia Superintendent of the Year
Member: RESA Stakeholders Committee, Accreditations and Accountability Committee
Computer literate with training and certification in the West Virginia Educational Information System (WVEIS)
West Virginia High Tech Consortium training in Microsoft Office.
Examiner and test facilitator for the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) through the Adult Education Program.
Participated in EdVenture Group Palm Pilot and laptop training cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Utilizing technology in performance of administrative duties.
Participant in Max Thompson workshops - Instructional Strategies and Differentiated Learning.
Active participant in RESA VIII Regional Administrative Workshops and Conferences.
Active participant/member of Pendleton County Strategic Planning Committee charged with formation/utilization of Pendleton County Schools Five Year Plan regarding educational excellence.
Awarded Wayne H. White Award for Outstanding Superintendent West Virginia Access Center Higher Education 2006.
Master Degree - West Virginia University, 1986
Bachelors Degree - Fairmont State College, 1978
High School Diploma - Franklin High School, 1973
Additional Hours: West Virginia University
Marshall University College of Graduate Studies
Since 2004, Dr. Pamela Shea has led the Teton County School District located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, adjacent to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. She has served her district for 33 years starting as a substitute teacher. From there, she has held multiple positions including various teaching assignments, assistant principal, OCR compliance officer, and principal at both the middle and elementary levels.
Dr. Shea has seen a tremendous change in her community as it has transformed from a ranching community with a short, summer tourist season, to a full scale, year round resort. The population has grown significantly, including an immigrant population from Mexico and Central America. The free and reduced lunch rates have doubled at some of her schools and the Latino population has risen from 0 to 28%. The student population is now 2600 including nine schools, with her smallest rural school of 15 students to her largest elementary school of 600 students.
Previous to Dr. Shea’s tenure, the district has experienced a high rate of turnover of senior leadership which had begun to impact the quality of the educational enterprise. Dr. Shea still holds this position a decade later, bringing stability, high expectations, and a laser-like focus on closing the achievement gap of her student population.
In her decade of leadership, Jackson Hole High School and Alta Elementary have received National Blue Ribbon Awards from the USDE. Jackson Hole High School has also been ranked as the top Wyoming high school in 2013 and 2014 in the U.S. News and World Report.
Pam is married and the mother of twins, who attend Jackson Hole High School. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, and cooking with her husband and family as time affords.