You can now proceed to the nomination or application forms.
|Name||State||Photo & Bio|
Ty Mase was appointed by the Lake and Peninsula School Board to be their Superintendent in December 2008. Prior to this, Ty worked as the Assistant Superintendent and Director of Instruction and Assessment. He led the district’s performance based instructional refinements, along with student activities and Federal Programs. From 2001 to 2006, he served with the Chugach School District as the Director of their Voyage to Excellence Programs. In this role, he helped develop the district’s School to Life and Excel Camp programs. He also represented Chugach as a category champion during their successful quest for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. Ty began his career in 1995 in Alaska with the Bristol Bay School District as a Secondary Generalist / Activities Director. Prior to coming to Alaska, he worked several years as a teacher on the Navajo Nation.
Ty holds a degree in history and a master in education from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. His administrative graduate work was from UAA.
Ty lives in King Salmon, Alaska with his wife Heather and daughter Harley.
Notable highlights while Superintendent of Lake and Peninsula School District:
• Helped foster and protect LPSD’s Standards Based System (SBS) of instruction
• Has been instrumental in fostering regional partnerships – between school districts(4) and other key stakeholders
• Created “Candice’s Books for Kids” – birth thru graduation literacy program in memory of educator Candice Berner
• Has developed university partnerships to include: online tutoring, student teaching, shared grants, and recruitment
• Helped create Bristol Bay Regional CTE Program w/ four regional school districts
• Created LPSD’s Subsistence Calendar honoring local traditions, culture and industry
• Created Intervention Tutoring Program – online and in-person
• Helped foster the Data Based Instruction / RTI movement in Lake and Pen
• Has built trust and strong relations with all regional and state-wide stakeholders
• Was successful in bonding and then building a new school, a new gymnasium and conducting district-wide energy upgrades
• Has acquired millions of dollars in grant funds over the last 12 years
• Created a sustained preschool reserve fund w/ Borough support
• Successfully managed the tenuous politics around controversial Pebble Mine (world’s largest gold and copper deposit w/in district)
• Implemented a self-regulation program for students and staff
• Has created a “family first” theme with staff across a very vast, remote district
• Transformed professional atmosphere by hiring highest quality staff
• Created an experiential Cultural M.Ed. Program for certified staff to promote local culture and teacher retention
• Has successfully cut around classrooms in light of a decade of budget cuts
• Has negotiated a longevity bonus to further retain certified staff
• Overall increase in Student Achievement K-12. LPSD has surpasses most all other rural, remote school districts in proficiency rates
Chresal D. Threadgill is a native of Mobile, AL, and is a graduate of John L. Leflore High School. Chresal attended Alabama State University where he received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He began his educational journey at Greenville Middle School in Butler County where he served as a middle school P.E. Teacher/Coach. After only two years, the administration took note of Mr. Threadgill’s excellent leadership ability and he was encouraged to become a part of the administrative team at Greenville Middle School. After only two years of teaching, Chresal became the Vice-Principal. Mr. Threadgill later relocated to Troy Alabama, where he worked as Assistant Principal of Charles Henderson Middle School and later became the Principal. After his work was completed at the building level, Mr. Threadgill moved to the district office to serve as Assistant Superintendent. As the Assistant Superintendent of Troy City Schools, his responsibilities included being Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Special Education, and Director of Federal Programs, as well as additional supervisory responsibilities. Chresal’s tenure as Assistant Superintendent prepared him for his next appointment as Superintendent of Elba City Schools. Mr. Threadgill served as the leader of Elba City Schools for five years and during his leadership, the system was able to grow to heights some viewed as impossible. Recently, Mr. Threadgill returned home as the Chief of Staff for Mobile County Public Schools where he worked in close conjunction with the Superintendent in overseeing 7,500 employees and approximately 55,000 students. Currently, Mr. Threadgill serves as the Superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools which is the largest and oldest school system in the State of Alabama.
Throughout many of Mr. Threadgill’s leadership positions, he has received numerous accolades and recognitions for his dedication and commitment in the field of education. Mr. Threadgill was recently selected as the sole representative from the State of Alabama to participate in the Texas Superintendent’s Academy, at Lamar University. In addition, he served as the District III President in the Alabama School Superintendents Association. While serving as the District III representative Chresal was named Superintendent of the Year for District III. Additionally, he most recently served as District I president, and was voted District I Superintendent of the Year in 2020. He advanced to be voted by his peers as Alabama Superintendent of the Year for 2020. Chresal was also appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Council for College of Education at Troy University. His most recent accolade includes being featured in The School Superintendent’s Association’s (AASA) publication based on his proven record of leadership within the field of education.
Throughout his journey, Mr. Threadgill’s priority has remained with his ultimate support system; his family. Chresal is married to LaTanya Threadgill, and together they have three beautiful children, Sydni (17), Alex (16) and Coleman (10).
Mr. Chresal D. Threadgill has a passion for doing what is best for ALL children and this philosophy is deeply engrained in the work he does each day to serve the students of Alabama.
Mike Poore will begin his fifth year as Superintendent of the Little Rock School District and his 36th year in education this fall. As a longtime advocate for career education programming, he is excited about and proud of the business partnerships developed during his tenure. Of particular note, the business partnerships for the EXCEL program have been exceptional in creating wonderful outcomes for students, businesses, and the community as a whole.
Poore has been recognized as a leader in creating a pipeline to connect high school students to local careers and post-secondary education opportunities. As a veteran educator, he has dedicated his life's work to students, serving as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, and executive director. He has also served in top administrative roles including deputy superintendent in Colorado Springs, Colorado and superintendent of Sheridan School District in Denver, Colorado. Poore moved to Arkansas in June 2011 to become superintendent of the Bentonville Public Schools. Under his leadership in Little Rock, Don Roberts Elementary earned a National Blue Ribbon distinction, and in 2019, Central and Parkview Magnet high schools were named 1st and 6th “Best Little Rock Public High Schools” by Niche.com, respectively, and listed in the top 15 Arkansas high schools by US News and World Report.
In 2019, Poore was recognized with the Lifetime of Service Award by City Year - Little Rock, and was named by Arkansas Business Publication as a back-to- back Arkansas 250 honoree in 2018-19. He serves on the board of directors of Economics Arkansas and was the board president in 2014-15. Poore is an active member of Rotary Club where he is also a distinguished Paul Harris Fellow and has served on the Arkansas Professional State License Standards board. Poore was the only educator among top national executives named to the Social Shake-Up Show’s Movers & Shakers and Rising Stars 2018 Honoree List. This fall he will be recognized by Junior Achievement as the first recipient of its inaugural Educator Award.
As a result of his advocacy for literacy, LRSD’s 2017 district-wide reading initiative now serves as a national model, earning LRSD the One District One Book Award in 2018. Poore is also a longtime proponent of health and wellness initiatives and uses his platform as a board member of the American Heart Association-Central Arkansas Chapter to support many life-saving educational programs. Under his leadership at LRSD, heart health and wellness messages related to Check, Change, Control, Jump Rope for Heart, the Central Arkansas Heart Walk, and Go Red for Women have been shared annually with nearly 4,000 employees and more than 23,000 students.
Poore and his wife, Marianne, have a blended family of five children and one grandchild.
For the last six years, Dr. Donna W. Lewis has served as Superintendent of the Creighton School District. Located in Central Phoenix, Creighton School District is considered a large school district serving 6,000 students and 800 employees. Dr. Lewis is also the current President of the Arizona Association of School Administrators and previously served as the President of Arizona Association of School Administrators Superintendent's Division.
Dr. Lewis has dedicated the last 38 years to educating students, influencing educational policy, and developing educational leaders. She started her career as a teacher in Tucson, Arizona before being selected to serve as a trainer nationwide for the American Association of school administrators. In her time at AASA, she provided Strategic Planning for districts across the country and performed curriculum audits in various states. She also designed the original National Superintendent's Academy. She later served as Principal and then a Director of 17 schools (30,000 students) in Fairfax Count Virginia. Upon returning to Arizona she was asked by the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on his cabinet as Associate Superintendent of Testing and Accountability.
As Creighton Superintendent she has worked tirelessly advocating for adventurous learning and kind-hearted leadership. Under Dr. Lewis’ leadership the Creighton District flagship school, Creighton School, was rebuilt and reimagined to a school never before seen in Arizona offering dual-language, multi-age, and constructivist learning. Through the partnerships created with AASA, Creighton students have traveled through the Junior Ambassadors Program to China, Germany, Costa Rica, and Washington D.C.
Dr. Lewis has been recognized as a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association and has also been named Superintendent of the Year by the Arizona School Public Relations Association. She was also named a Distinguished Administrator for the Superintendent’s Division from the Arizona School Administrators Association.
Dr. Lewis credits her last 34 years with AASA as helping her to define her moral compass and develop her professionalism and passion as a district, state, national, and international leader in public education.
|Dr. Keith Owen||CO||
Dr. Keith Owen is a Colorado native, husband and father of four boys. He is a life-long public educator, committed to improving the educational outcomes of all children. As the Superintendent of Schools for Fountain-Fort Carson School District, he leads one of the most unique school systems in the State of Colorado. Fountain-Fort Carson School District serves approximately 8,500 students, with five schools located on Fort Carson and approximately seventy percent of the families are military connected. Supporting the families that serve our great nation is a responsibility that all staff in the district take pride in.
Prior to becoming the Superintendent of Fountain-Fort Carson in 2015, Dr. Owen served as the Deputy Commissioner of Education for the Colorado Department of Education for four years. In that role, he oversaw the state’s special education programs, federal programs (including Title I), support for local schools and districts, improvement planning and state and federal accountability systems.
Dr. Owen came to the state department from Durango School District where he served as the superintendent for three years. The school district has rural schools and suburban schools mixed throughout the southwest corner of the state. During his tenure in Durango, he is credited with initiating a principal professional development program for all principals in the southwest portion of the state and leading a comprehensive community strategic plan that has resulted in many improvements to the school system. Before coming to Durango, Dr. Owen served in a variety of leadership positions within the Pueblo City School District, including chief academic officer, principal and teacher.
Dr. Owen has received several state and national honors, including being named the Communicator of the Year by the Colorado School Public Relations Association in 2016. In addition, he was named the National Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year in 2003 for the State of Colorado. He is active in many community and professional organizations and is currently on the Governing Board for the American Association of School Administrators and is a Past-President of the Colorado Association of Superintendents and School Administrators.
Dr. Keith Owen
Paul Freeman has been a Connecticut educator for more than 25 years. He has been the Superintendent of Schools in Guilford since 2011, and he is an adjunct instructor at the University of Connecticut in the Neag School of Education.
Before coming to Guilford, Dr. Freeman served as the Superintendent of the Griswold Public Schools, and prior to that he worked as an Assistant Principal, Principal and Assistant Superintendent in the East Lyme School system. He began his career in education as a teacher of English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels in the Amity School district.
Dr. Freeman has served as Chair of the New England League of Middle Schools and as a contributing editor for the National Middle School Association’s Journal. He has published several works in the field of education and is a frequent presenter at national and regional educational conferences. He has taken his work to Amman Jordan as part of a partnership between the University of Connecticut and Queen Rania’s Teacher Academy, and he serves as an accreditation visitor for NEASC's Commision on International Education. He is the 2010 recipient of the James P. Garvin Distinguished Service Award from the New England League of Middle Schools, and he received the 2014 Outstanding Superintendent Award from the UConn, Neag School of Education Alumni Association. In 2015 Dr. Freeman was elected to the Governing Board of AASA, the national organization of school superintendents, and he is currently serving as President for the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. Dr. Freeman sits on the Advisory Board for the National Center for School Safety, housed at the University of Michigan. He has served on the Governor’s Closing the Achievement Gap Task Force since 2011, and in March was named Cochair of the Governor's COVID19 Learn from Home Task Force, which distributed 60,000 laptops to students in Connecticut's 33 Alliance districts in the early day of the pandemic.
Dr. Freeman resides in Killingworth, CT with his wife and four sons. He earned his bachelor's degree at Keene State University, completed his masters and sixth year degrees at Southern CT State University, and completed his doctoral studies at the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Kevin R. Fitzgerald serves as the tenth Superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District. His career in education began in Maryland in 1978 as a social studies and English teacher. Football coach, basketball coach, baseball coach and high school athletic director are also positions he held proudly. After 13 years in the classrooms of Prince Georges, Dorchester and Caroline County school systems, Dr. Fitzgerald moved to Delaware becoming Caesar Rodney High School’s assistant principal in 1991. In 1998 he became the principal of the high school and served in that role until 2007, when he was selected as District Superintendent.
Dr. Fitzgerald holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware (2002), a Master of Arts from St. John's College (1985) and a Bachelor of Science degree from Frostburg State University (1978). His list of awards are numerous and include recognition as the Delaware Superintendent of the Year for 2012 and 2020; National Superintendent of the Year for 2018, as selected by the National Association of School Superintendents (NASS); and Delaware Secondary School Principal of the Year for 2003. He has also been recognized by the University of Delaware with their “Commitment to Educational Excellence Award” in 2004 and 2008 and by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP) as their “Administrator of the Year” for 2019. His community service has included involvement on many Boards, Committees, and Clubs including the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA); Friends of the Delaware Archives; The United Way of Delaware; Biggs Museum; the Camden-Wyoming Rotary Club and Honorary Wing Commander of 512 Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base.
Additionally, Dr. Fitzgerald has authored many articles for national educational magazines such as High School Today and The Administrator and contributed to the book Best Practices of Award Winning Secondary School Principals. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware, teaching courses in Leadership and Secondary School Administration.
During his tenure as Superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District, Dr. Fitzgerald has made mental health, inclusion and acceptance a top priority, and works each day to see that every student gets to meet him and know that he cares about their education. Under his leadership the District and individual schools have received multiple recognitions, including six National Blue Ribbons, two National Green Ribbons and an ESPN Top Five Special Olympics Banner School. Also, he has played a significant role in new construction or renovations in all twelve of the district schools. He was the driving force behind implementing the first Chinese immersion curriculum in the state, and CRHS has continually graduated students who are both career equipped and college prepared.
Dr. Fitzgerald, resides in Camden with his wife, Linda. They have three daughters who are all graduates of Caesar Rodney High School and a grandson who is currently a “Little Rider.”
Dr. Diana L. Greene began her tenure as Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the 20th largest school district in the nation, on July 1, 2018. She arrived to this role with extensive classroom and leadership experience, beginning with her first elementary teaching position at Mamie Agnes Jones in Baldwin, Florida. Prior to becoming a superintendent in Duval County, Dr. Greene served as Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services in Manatee County. During her 33-year career as an educator, she has spent time as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal as well as in curriculum development, staff development and in senior executive leadership.
Last summer, Dr. Greene’s initial assessment of Duval County Public Schools concluded with three major goals:
• Improve academic achievement to become an “A” rated school district
• Improve safety and security, and
• Bring financial solvency to the district.
After just one year of leadership, the district has made outstanding progress on each goal.
The 2019 school grades for Duval schools reflect remarkable growth. The district scored a historic number of points on Florida’s Accountability Scorecard and now sits just a fraction of a percentage point from an “A” rated designation. Two-thirds of the district’s low performing schools – those that earned a “D” or an “F” in 2018, improved by one or more letter grades in the 2018-19 school year. Additionally, the number of “A” rated schools in the district grew by almost 30 percent.
On safety, Dr. Greene conducted a personal review of every high school, which lead to initiatives such as the installation of high definition security cameras throughout each facility and improved exterior lighting at many schools. Surveillance is being improved at elementary and middle schools as well, and the district will be implementing a walk through metal detector initiative on an as-needed basis to manage school operations and ensure student safety whenever there is an alleged threat to a school.
Financially, Dr. Greene has taken several steps to improve stability and improve public perception of the district’s finances. Even during a year when state per student operational funding increased just 47 cents per student, Dr. Greene has made improvements to budget forecasting and budget monitoring toward reducing or eliminating the amount of reserves needed to balance the budget. The district has also completed a financial transparency web page providing easy access to budgets, audits and financial reports for the public.
Academics, safety, and financial solvency underlie one of the most visible initiatives of Dr. Greene’s first year as Superintendent of Duval County - - a proposed referendum to voluntarily impose a half penny sales tax to radically improve all school facilities over the next 10-15 years. If successful, the revenue will make schools safer, improve academic outcomes, and reduce operational costs enabling more dollars to be spent in the classroom.
On a personal note, Dr. Greene is the daughter of a father who served in the Air Force, and she grew up living in locations all over the United States and abroad. She is married to James Greene, an independent financial advisor and retired Navy; they have two sons, Aldon and Joshua.
Michael Duncan became superintendent in June 2005. He is currently one of Georgia’s longest continuously-serving school superintendents. Before arriving in Pike, Mike was a high school principal, high school and middle school assistant principal, and a middle and high school social studies teacher. He completed a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Georgia in 2004. He is married to his best friend Melanie, and they have two sons, Josh and Alec.
Dr. Duncan believes that the goal of schooling is to create independent thinkers and problem-solvers. He feels strongly that parents are the educators-in-chief of their child’s education, thus advocating for parents to have ever-increasing choices and flexibility within the public school setting. He is often heard saying, “We must educate our children for the world they will live in, not the one we live in.”
Superintendent of Schools
MOC-Floyd Valle Community School District
Orange City, IA 51041
I have been blessed to serve with a host of talented, dedicate professional educators throughout my 35-year career!
I have been honored to be named a 2003 Milken National Educator, the 2009 Iowa High School Principal of the Year, and the 2020 Iowa Superintendent of the Year.
My personal Mission Statement is, "Love others and make things better. Humbly serve and do what's right. Always radiate the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control."
I have been married to my lovely wife Jana for 38 years. We have 3 amazing adult children, 2 wonderful daughters-in-law, 1 fantastic son-in-law, and 8 spectacular grand-children! Life is good!!!
I've spent my entire life living in Idaho with the good fortune of growing up in the beautiful Hagerman Valley. I'm a product of the Idaho public education system and it's truly an honor that I've been able to spend my adult life as an Idaho educator. I was raised by an incredible single mom who taught me about hard work, dedication and what a nurturing attitude looks like. Along the way, I also looked for some positive male role models that I didn't have at home. I found several during my time as a student in the Hagerman and Wendell School Districts. These examples helped lead me to the profession that I believe is my calling. This is my 26th year as an Idaho educator. I've served as a teacher, coach, principal, deputy superintendent and superintendent while working in three school districts and the Idaho State Department of Education. I also had the good fortune to serve four years as a Gooding County Commissioner. This proved to be a great training ground for my time as a building principal and district superintendent. I'm also the father of four fantastic children who are all also products of the Idaho public education system. I'm an Idaho educator and proud of it!
Dr. Donna Leak is the Superintendent of Community Consolidated Schools District 168 in Sauk Village, IL and serves as the Vice Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education. As Vice Chair of the State Board, she has been instrumental in updates to the mission, vision, goals, equity statement and updated strategic plan for the state of Illinois. She serves as a strong voice for those educators in the field of education at the state and national level. Under her tenure in District 168, the district has made major facility updates including addressing water issues for children. The district has seen considerable improvements in academics, technology and social emotional needs for children. Dr. Leak has moved the district through a full-scale renovation to include playgrounds, new flooring, renovated track at the Junior High School, new water filtration system at all buildings and Media Center renovations in a two-year window of time. Her efforts have also increased the integration of technology at all levels within the district. In December 2014, she was named the Sauk Village Person of the year for her work in the school district. Previously, she served as the Superintendent of Rich Township High School District 227. Under her leadership, the District received numerous awards and recognition including Best High Schools in America Bronze Winners Rich East in 2009, 2010, 2012 and Rich Central in 2012. Dr. Leak began her career as a Sixth Grade Math Teacher in 1989. From that beginning point, she went on to teach high school mathematics and became the youngest and first African American Department Chairperson at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. In 1999, Dr. Leak left the public education sector to work as an International Consultant for Mathematics. Dr. Leak worked with the Department of Defense and American Community Schools in Western Europe, Asia, and South America. She has trained thousands of teachers not only abroad, but in large domestic areas such as New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Memphis. She has spoken at more than 200 conferences worldwide and represented the United States at the International Congress on Math Education in Seville, Spain. Before returning to public education, Dr. Leak served as a Senior Marketing Manager and subsequently Vice President of Educational Services in the publishing industry. Upon her return to the public sector in 2003, Dr. Leak served as Assistant Principal in Chicago Public Schools, then left to become the Associate Principal at Rich Central High School and Assistant Superintendent of Rich Township High School District 227 in Olympia Fields, IL before taking the helm as Superintendent in that district. From there, she has now moved on to work with schools at the Pre-K – 8th grade level in District 168. Her current Superintendency has allowed her the opportunity to connect the need for greater services at the Pre-K – 8th grade level – building firm foundations for young people before high school. Her great passion for the education of all children has fueled her to make a mark on the lives of those who shape the lives of young people in the classroom on a daily basis. To that end, she has been a member of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics for over 25 years serving as a Board Member for over 15 years in a variety of roles including her current chairmanship of the Nominations Committee. In addition, she has been an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for over 20 years, including serving in the National Program Committee for the Annual Conference in Anaheim. Dr. Leak holds a BS in Mathematics, MS in Educational Administration, and PhD in Leadership and Policy Studies. She is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. and national Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her passion for giving back to the community is exemplified in all that she does including serving on the PUSH Excel National Board of Directors. Dr. Leak’s philosophy in life is that “you do not follow your dreams; you chase them with intensity, passion and purpose!”. She is married to Spencer Leak, Jr., Vice President of Leak and Sons Funeral homes and has two children, Spencer Leak, III and Emma Sophia Leak.
Dr. Kent DeKoninck is now in his eighth year as superintendent for the Greenwood Community School Corporation and his 33rd year in public education. Greenwood Community Schools serve nearly 4,000 students in Johnson County, just south of Indianapolis. Prior to becoming Greenwood Community School superintendent, DeKoninck was an associate superintendent in the Avon Community School Corporation. DeKoninck also served as a middle school principal in Carmel-Clay Schools and Perry Township. DeKoninck started his administrative career in Westfield-Washington Schools as a guidance director and assistant high school principal.
DeKoninck has served as the board president for the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Sertoma Club of Greenwood, and a board member of the Rotary Club of
Greenwood. DeKoninck received the 2017 Citizen of the Year award from the Greenwood VFW and the City of Greenwood. He also serves as the superintendent-in-residence for the school leadership program at the University of Indianapolis.
DeKoninck has been married to his wife, Amanda, for almost 32 years and they reside in Greenwood. They have two daughters, Hillary and Morgan. Most importantly, he is a grandfather to 10-week-old Josie Ann and is expecting a grandson in February 2021!
Dr. Henry is currently in his tenth year as serving as the Superintendent for Goddard Public Schools. He has served as an administrator in Kansas schools for over twenty years, previously serving as the Superintendent at Southeast of Saline and as a building level administrator in the Ottawa School District. In addition to his service in these three school districts Dr. Henry has taught for Ottawa University for almost 20 years, served as President of the Kansas School Superintendents’ Association, Mid-American Association of School Superintendent's, and Schools for Fair Funding. He has also served on the United School Administrators of Kansas board of directors, governing board for AASA, and is active in the Suburban School Superintendents Association, School Research Elite Symposiums, and the Kansas-Missouri Superintendent Leadership conferences.
Dr. Henry’s involvement in community leadership initiatives has extended throughout the state. He has been involved in Leadership Franklin County, Leadership Saline County, Leadership Wichita, Leadership Kansas, and the Kansas Association of School Board’s Leadership for Tomorrow program.
As a fifth-generation Kansan, public service and a commitment to supporting Kansas students and communities runs deep in Dr. Henry’s family. Multiple generations of educators and board of education members in his family have helped model what it means to be a true public servant. Dr. Henry’s mother is a member of the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame after a distinguished career as an elementary teacher. His proudest accomplishment is marrying his wife, Mandy, and their two high school age students, McKenzie and Brent, who provide him the love, support, and motivation each day to impact others.
Patricia Sheffer is a Public School Superintendent in Union County, KY who continually seeks out new opportunities for professional growth to directly improve all facets of the school system and community. With twenty-eight years of experience, Patricia realizes the importance of a continuous improvement model to ensure every child experiences a successful educational journey. Students and staff observe Patricia as a lead learner, ultimately inspiring the champion within all and making great things happen for others.
Patricia has served as an assistant superintendent, director of curriculum, instruction & assessment, curriculum specialist, alternative school principal, and elementary teacher all in the Union County Public School system. As superintendent, she has been recognized as the KSBA F.L. Dupree Most Outstanding Superintendent for 2020, one of the four finalists for the 2018 KASA Superintendent of the Year, the Chamber of Commerce-Community Leader of Year, KMEA- KY Second District Outstanding Administrator, and Southeast Inter-Mountain Regional Community Supporter of Year.
Patricia holds a Master’s in Education from Murray State University and is a graduate of the AASA Mid-West National Superintendent Program.
Sheldon Jones received his Bachelor of Science from Northeast Louisiana University in 1991 and Master of Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2005.
He has been employed as a public school educator by the Richland Parish School Board for 24 years. During his career, he served as Teacher and Coach at Delhi Middle School, Assistant Principal at Rayville Elementary School, Principal at Delhi Middle School, and Secondary Curriculum Supervisor at the Richland Parish School Board. In 2004, he was selected Richland Parish Junior High Teacher of the Year. He served as Adjunct Professor for the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University in 2011. He has served as Superintendent of Schools since July 1, 2011. He served as Chairman of the Region 8 Superintendent’s Group in 2013 and the Regions 6, 7, and 8 Superintendent’s Group in 2018. He has been a member of the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council since 2015. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. He was selected the 2021 Region VIII Superintendent of the Year and 2021 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year.
He is a Life Member of the Southwestern Province and Grand Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
He is a Member and Deacon at the New Light Missionary Baptist Church (Reverend Johnny Green, Pastor) in Bastrop, LA.
He is married to Teresa Randle Jones and has two daughters, Quintina Harris and Kelsey Jones.
Dr. Robert N. Baldwin began his professional career as a teacher/coach. In 1998, he entered into school administration as an assistant principal at the middle school level. In 2001, he began his role as the Principal of Middleborough High School. In 2005, Dr. Baldwin assumed the duties of Superintendent of Schools for the Fairhaven Public Schools. He immediately acted to create an organizational structure and culture in order to refocus the district. Today, because of the hard work and dedication of so many, and the continued support of the school community, stakeholders from all avenues are choosing Fairhaven. The district is able to secure the talents of bold administrators who are making extraordinary differences in the buildings and programs that they lead. The best and brightest in new faculty and staff have chosen to teach in Fairhaven. Most importantly, parents of school aged children and future school aged children have openly stated that they have chosen to live Fairhaven due in large part to the school system.
Dr. Baldwin has worked to establish strategic partnerships that promote collaborative opportunities for cooperation between town departments, neighboring municipalities, and community organizations in order to improve district effectiveness. These partnerships have served to enhance his town and region. In the Southcoast region, he is a contributing member of the Southcoast Development Partnership (SCDP). He has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Educational Leadership Licensure Program at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in the Leading for Learning K-12 principal and assistant principal licensure program. He served as the co – chair for the South Coast Education Compact. The South Coast Education Compact was an education partnership between business leaders, area School Superintendents, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Bristol Community College to collectively address the level of educational attainment in the South Coast region.
He continues to be a leader of leaders throughout his region and the State of Massachusetts. From 2010 – 2016 he served as the President Old Colony Superintendents Association. At the state level, Dr. Baldwin was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) in 2016. He was elected as an officer of MASS in 2018, where he testified and provided written support for a number of state and local initiatives. This role afforded him the opportunity to be actively involved in the passing into law the Student Opportunity Act. This landmark piece of legislation was the first major revision in the twenty-five years since the Commonwealth’s Education Reform Act of 1993. He currently serves as the President of MASS, where he works tirelessly to provide support and leadership to all superintendents and navigate the complexity that the COVID -19 and the school reopening process has on all stakeholders.
He is active at the regional and national level with his association with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). For his work with the Commission, in 2015, he received the Jacob Ludes III Leadership Award. He has matriculated to a role as the Chair of the Commission on Public Schools and to the Board of Trustees. Currently, he is serving as the chair of the Task Force of the Center for Educational Excellence and Innovation.
Dr. Baldwin received his Bachelor of Science from Springfield College in 1984. He received a Master of Arts from the University of Maryland in 1986 and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2003. Dr. Baldwin remains grounded and balanced in his role as a father of five children, grandfather of six and remains happily married to his wife Jane of over 36 years. The Baldwin family lives in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
Dr. Couch is a native of New Mexico. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an endorsement in Early Childhood and a master’s degree in educational management from New Mexico State University. She received her doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in social justice from New Mexico State University. Dr. Couch has been in public education for 36 years and has served as teacher, elementary principal, curriculum coordinator, director for instruction, interim-director for finance, associate superintendent for personnel, deputy superintendent and superintendent of schools.
She has been a superintendent in two school systems for a combined total of 20 years. During her tenure as a New Mexico superintendent, she co-chaired statewide revisions to the principal and teacher evaluation plans and served on the adequacy funding formula study panel. She was appointed by the New Mexico Governor Richardson to chair the Professional Development Dossier Project establishing a career ladder for New Mexico teachers. Dr. Couch has received numerous educational leadership awards throughout her career. In 2010, she was honored as the New Mexico Superintendent of the Year. During her tenure as elementary principal, her school was received the prestigious Blue Ribbon School Award for New Mexico and recognized as an outstanding school of excellence.
Dr. Couch is completing her eighth year as a Maryland Superintendent for the Kent County Public Schools. During her first year of employment, full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten (PK) programs were implemented in every elementary school. The Kent County full day Universal Kindergarten has received statewide recognition for narrowing the achievement gap for all subgroups. In 2015, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation awarded Dr. Couch with a Special Recognition Award for her leadership in Kent County. In 2017, she was appointed to the Commission on Innovation and Education Excellence by the Maryland Assembly and confirmed by Governor Hogan. She served on the Commission until 2020 when the Commission adopted their five policy area recommendations that included nine (9) building blocks for creating a World-Class Education system in Maryland. She is the Past President for the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland (PSSAM), a member of the Chestertown Rotary Club and the Kent County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board.
Dr. Andrew Dolloff is in his seventh year as Superintendent of Schools in Yarmouth, Maine, having completed five years in the same position in RSU 21, serving Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel. Andrew is a 33-year veteran of Maine public schools, having taught chemistry and coached varsity basketball for eight years before making the move to school leadership in 1995. Andrew has received statewide awards as a coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent and has served in numerous leadership roles at the state and regional level. He has served on the International Advisory Board for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principals’ Center and is a board member at the New England School Development Council. Currently, Andrew is the chair of the advisory board for the University of Southern Maine’s Educational Leadership program, where he is an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership, School Finance, and Contemporary Issues in Education.
A Maine native, Andrew earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Farmington, a master’s degree at the University of Southern Maine, and completed advanced studies at the University of New England. In 2015, Andrew completed his Ph.D. in Public Policy with a concentration in Educational Policy and Leadership at the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at U.S.M, where his dissertation focused on resource allocation in Maine’s more efficient public high schools.
Andrew lives in Gorham with his wife, Brenda, who is also an educator of more than 30 years. They have four grown children, each of whom were educated in Maine’s public schools before completing successful undergraduate and graduate programs throughout New England.
Craig Carmoney was named Superintendent of Meridian Public Schools in July of 2011. Meridian Public Schools is 21st Century school district that has partnered with the New Tech Network, Project Lead the Way, and Delta College to offer project-based learning, 1:1 technology, and early college for all students. Meridian is the only district in the state of Michigan to operate a full-school early college and partner with the New Tech Network to support K-12 project-based learning for every learner. Meridian Early College High School has been recognized annually since 2013 as a National Demonstration School by the New Tech Network.
Under Carmoney’s nine years at the helm, several great things have taken place at Meridian Public Schools. The district has received around $3M in grants, passed a $7.7M and a $20.3M bond, and more than doubled its fund balance. Most importantly, its first-year college completion rate has more than doubled to almost 80% and its most recent graduation rate increased from a historical average of just under 90% to over 95%. 50% of the most recent senior class took college courses and passed those courses at a 98% success rate with a 3.2 GPA. Almost 2/3’s of those students elected to return for the 5th year where they attend college full-time. Meridian students now earn over 3,000 college credits per year, thirty times the amount of credits earned prior to Carmoney’s tenure.
Before coming to Meridian, Carmoney served as Middle School Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Bullock Creek Schools. In that role, he led the school in key school improvement initiates that resulted in student achievement improvement, and before that taught at Bullock Creek and Alpena. Being active and involved in the community is a priority for Carmoney. He has served in numerous organizations that include the Michigan Association of School Administrators, Michigan High School Athletic Association, New Tech Network District Leadership Council, Midland County Long-Term Disaster Recovery Committee, Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, Midland Business Alliance, the Midland County College Access Network Leadership Team, the Saginaw Valley State University External Advisory Team, the Greater Midland Area Community Center and the Midland County DARE Board of Directors.
Carmoney has dedicated his career to ensuring that every child is given the opportunity and pathways to succeed in life, college, and careers in the 21st Century. Carmoney holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University. He is also successfully completed the Michigan Leadership Institute Supes Academy, the Great Lakes Bay Alliance Leadership Program, and the Saginaw Valley State University Gerstacker Fellowship Program.
Carmoney and his wife, Kelly, have three children.
Dr. Wayne A. Kazmierczak, a native of Stephen, Minnesota, has served as the Superintendent for White Bear Lake Area Schools since July 2017. His tenure has been marked by significant progress with a focus on equity, elevating student voice, community engagement, a historic investment in facilities, and establishing a collaborative culture.
Immediately upon his being named superintendent, Dr. Kazmierczak launched a community-wide effort to develop a new strategic plan for the school district. The strategic planning process extended to each district building and several programs, creating unprecedented systemic alignment. Hundreds of internal and external stakeholders were involved throughout these processes that will ultimately impact the school district for years to come.
Prior to being named to his current position of Superintendent, Dr. Kazmierczak was the Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations for White Bear Lake Area Schools from 2014-2017. He served as the Assistant Superintendent for Moorhead Area Public Schools from 2008-2014 and was the Superintendent of Lakeview Public Schools from 2005-2008. Additionally, he was a high school business education teacher and coach for 12 years prior to beginning his administrative career.
Dr. Kazmierczak earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Vocational Education and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks). He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis).
Dr. Kazmierczak is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. He is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with his three children.
From the foreign service offices of Madrid, Spain, to corporate offices of San Francisco, to the multilingual, multicultural schools in Oakland, California, to the rapidly urbanizing City of Columbia, Missouri, my career has been incredibly fulfilling. I have been a teacher, an English Language Development coach, a principal, and a central office administrator. I am focused on tackling educational issues related to poverty and equity in our public schools, and each of the positions I have held has deepened my commitment to public education. Our nation's children are depending on us to break cycles of generational poverty and public education is the key. It is a privilege to be the superintendent of the Columbia Public Schools. We have made meaningful gains over the last six years despite the increasing challenges of widening economic gaps. We've made progress because we work together. The community, the school board, the administration, our teachers and staff, our children, and their families. Side-by-side, we're doing it. My biography is really a story about what a community can achieve when it works together on behalf of its children. That's the story of Columbia, MO.
We Are One.
Dr. Tucker is in his fifth year as Superintendent of the Liberty Public Schools in Liberty, Missouri. Under his leadership, the district embarked on a facility master planning process that resulted in the passage of a $49 million no-tax increase bond issue with 82% voter approval. In 2017 Liberty Public Schools was accepted into the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. League districts pioneer innovative learning and leadership practices that lead to improved outcomes for students and that help prepare them for learning for life. In addition, Dr. Tucker was named as a recipient of the “20 to Watch” educators for 2016-2017 by the National School Boards Association. Prior to arriving in Liberty, Dr. Tucker served as Superintendent, High School Principal, Teacher, and Coach in the Logan-Rogersville School District in Rogersville, Missouri. His first position in school administration was in the Dallas County School District in Buffalo, Missouri, where he served as a High School Assistant Principal. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Evangel University, Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Southwest Baptist University, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University. Although born in Missouri, Dr. Tucker spent 12 years overseas with stays in France, Togo, and Burkina Faso. He has been married to Rebecca for 20 years and they have two children; Madison, an 8th grader and Jonas, a 5th grader.
Dr. Matthew L. Dillon is a native of Columbia, Mississippi, where he graduated from Columbia High School. Following graduation he attended Jones County Junior College, where he received his associate's degree in Allied Arts, followed by attendance at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. He then earned his Master's and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Mississippi in K-12 Educational Leadership. Dr. Dillon has been a professional educator in the state of Mississippi since 2000. He began his career at West Wortham Elementary School as a Social Studies and Career Discovery teacher, and assistant varsity, head 9th grade, baseball coach at Harrison Central High School. He then moved to Oxford to pursue his post graduate degrees, and taught Remedial Reading at Batesville Jr. High School. Upon completion of his master's degree, Dr. Dillon immediately began his path to administration, first serving as an Assistant Principal at BJHS, and then South Panola High School, before becoming the Head High School Principal at SPHS. After two years of leading SPHS, Dr. Dillon then took the position as High School Principal at Pearl High School for two school years before stepping in as Assistant Superintendent for the Tupelo Public School District where he oversaw secondary school improvement, operations, building and grounds maintenance, food service, athletics and extracurricular activities, as well as marketing and public relations for the 7,100 student district. After two years in Tupelo, Dr. Dillon was offered his dream job as Superintendent of Education for Petal Schools, where he is in the midst of his seventh year at the helm.
Dr. Dillon is a current member of several professional organizations including: the Mississippi Association of School Administrators, the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, the Association for Supervisors and Curriculum Development, the American Association of School Administrators, the Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium, the Eastern States Consortium, the Petal Education Foundation, the Rotary Club, and the Petal Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Dillon is also a member of Petal First Baptist Church and the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association, as well as an advisory board member for First Southern Bank.
He married his wife, Petal and University of Mississippi graduate, MaryAnn (Farmer) Dillon in 2004, and together they have three children: son Nathan, a 7th grader at Petal Middle School, daughter Peyton, a 6th grader at Petal Upper Elementary, and daughter Anna Kathryn, a 1st grader at Petal Primary. Dr. Dillon enjoys his work, but in his leisure time he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and watching any and all SEC sporting events.
Dr. Laurie Barron is in her twenty-fifth year in education, serving as a high school English teacher, a middle school assistant principal, and nine years as a middle school principal. Since 2013, she has served as the superintendent of the Evergreen School District in Kalispell, Montana. Barron holds a BSEd in English Education from the University of Georgia, an MEd in Supervision and Administration from the University of West Georgia, and an EdS and EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota. She also studied abroad at Oxford University. She holds National Superintendent Certification through AASA, is a National Board Certified Teacher, was honored as Teacher of the Year and STAR Teacher, is the 2012 Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year, and the 2013 National Middle School Principal of the Year. She is also the 2018 School Administrators of Montana G.V. Erickson Award recipient, given to a member who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana, was named the 2019 Empowered Superintendent of the Year by the Montana Educational Technologists Association, and is the 2021 Montana Superintendent of the Year. Barron co-authored Middle School: A Place to Belong and Become (2017) and What Parents Need to Know about Common Core and Other College- and Career-Ready Standards (2015) and has authored numerous education articles. Barron is also a national speaker who provides motivation and professional learning to teachers and administrators through promoting student engagement and voice, shared leadership, data-driven decision making, standards-based assessment, and inclusive teaching and learning environments. Most importantly, Barron believes that building relationships with staff and students while celebrating what staff and students do right is the key to success in any school.
Brent Williams is that rare school superintendent who has grown up professionally in the school district he has come to lead. He was named Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services for Lenoir County Public Schools in 2015 after serving as LCPS's Executive Director of Operations for three years. In August of 2015, when his predecessor announced plans to retire, the Lenoir County Board of Education tapped Williams as interim superintendent effective after December 2015. The school board named him superintendent on March16, 2016.
Under his leadership as superintendent, Lenoir County Public Schools has posted unprecedented, across-the-board student achievement gains in growth and proficiency in leading LCPS through the transformation from a low-performing school district in which most schools were failing to meet minimum state standards to the fastest improving district in our region--- one in which 15 out of 17 schools have met or exceeded all state standards, with the other two schools being very close to that goal. In addition, under the leadership of Mr. Williams, LCPS has reversed intense negative trends in the areas of dropout rate, graduation rate, student discipline, grants written and earned, community partnerships, teacher and other staff member morale, and community stakeholder engagement. He has led our district in implementing significant, bold turnaround and improvement efforts to engage in systems of continuous improvement resulting in LCPS currently posting the highest numbers ever achieved by LCPS in each of these categories. Because of the magnitude of this turnaround scenario, LCPS has been named “a model district for comprehensive school system improvement” by our accreditation body, AdvancED (now Cognia). Mr. Williams has engaged consistently with colleagues and has shared these effective and successful leadership strategies and systems with his colleagues on state, national, and international levels in opportunities ranging from presenting at state and national conferences to teaching, leading, and participating in professional development activities through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in eastern Europe, China, and Ireland.
Mr. Williams, of Kinston, grew up in Mount Olive, North Carolina, and started with Lenoir County Public Schools in 1993 as an English teacher at North Lenoir High School. After eight years as a teacher, including earlier teaching stints at C.B. Aycock and North Pitt High School, he worked as an assistant principal at Pink Hill Elementary and Rochelle Middle School. In 2002, he became the Director of Testing and Accountability. He has held principalships at three LCPS schools – Contentnea Elementary, E.B. Frink Middle School and North Lenoir High School. He returned to the LCPS central office from the role of principal of North Lenoir High School in July 2012.
A native of Mount Olive, North Carolina and the son of educators, Williams earned undergraduate degrees from Barton College and Mount Olive College and a Master of School Administration degree and licensure certifications from East Carolina University. He is a candidate for a doctor of education degree in educational leadership from ECU. He was chosen as Teacher of the Year at North Lenoir High School in 1997 and was twice named LCPS Principal of the Year, while at Contentnea Elementary School in 2004 and at North Lenoir High School in 2009. He enjoys woodworking, home improvement projects, fishing, hunting, traveling and spending time with his family. Mr. Williams and his wife, Amy, have two children, Austin and Abigail.
Justin Fryer became the superintendent of Solen Public School District in July 2013. Before becoming superintendent, he served as an elementary principal, instructional coach, and 5th grade classroom teacher in Solen School District. Justin was born and raised on the Sisseton Wahpeton Reservation in the northeast corner of South Dakota. Justin earned both his M.S. in administration, teaching, and learning and B.S. in elementary education from Northern State University. Early in his career Mr. Fryer worked as a classroom teacher in Somerton, Arizona. Justin's love of working with impoverished students guided his move to Arizona. While in Somerton, Justin worked as a first grade teacher with ELL students. This experience was significant and further developed a love to educate at risk students. Before taking a job in Solen, Mr. Fryer moved back to South Dakota to further his education and worked as a Hutterite colony school teacher for Faulkton Public School District. This teaching experience again provided an opportunity to work with at risk students and proved to be a unique cultural experience. Mr Fryer has spent a significant amount of time during his career fighting for educational equity among impoverished students. Justin continues to proudly represent Solen Public School District and always looks to identify education initiatives that will benefit the children of Standing Rock.
Dr. Jim Sutfin stepped into the role of superintendent for Millard Public Schools in fall of 2014. Currently he serves as the leader of a district of 35 schools with more nearly 24,000 students and more than 3,000 teachers and staff members. Previously he served as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the district. Along with his time in the central office, he has also filled the roles of principal, assistant principal, science department head and science teacher. He began his teaching career in Bellevue in 1989 and has been with Millard since 1995.
In 2016 he was named a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association and in the fall of 2020 who was named the Nebraska Superintendent of the Year.
Dr. Sutfin has made many presentations to educational, civic and business groups. He is active in many community organization and serves on a number of boards including the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Blueprint Nebraska Educational Attainment Committee, MOEC Executive Task Force, Foundation for Millard Public Schools and the GOALS Committee.
Dr. Sutfin leadership has focused on finding wide ranging solutions to significant school and community challenges. He has led the successful development and implementation of the strategic plan. He led a successful tax levy override campaign in the fall of 2017 with nearly 63% voter approval and in 2019 he led the successful passage of a 125 million dollar dollar bond issue. Despite significant budget constraints, Dr. Sutfin led the successful implementation of a 1:1 learning initiative that spans grades K-12. Dr. Sutfin implemented the first Early College Program in Nebraska where high school students can earn their high school diploma and associate of arts degree simultaneously.
Dr. Sutfin has served as a consultant to other districts in the areas of strategic planning, recruitment and hiring practices, leadership development and succession planning, social media/communication, digital learning, and crisis management. He has been married to his wife Julie for 30 years and together they have two children.
Mr. Winfried Feneberg currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools in the Kearsarge Regional School District (SAU 65). Prior to being hired in SAU 65 on July 1, 2015, he was the first superintendent of the newly formed SAU 95 (Windham, NH School District) from 2013 to 2015. He began his educational career in the Timberlane Regional School District as a school psychologist in 1988, following his graduation with a CAGS degree from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. In 1998, Winfried moved to his first administrative position as Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services. He later served as the Director of Special Education in the Hampstead School District from 2003 to 2007, and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of SAU 55 (Timberlane/Hampstead), a position he occupied until June 2013.
Winfried was born and raised in Schwabmünchen, Germany. He graduated from Dominikus-Zimmermann-Gymnasium (High School) in Landsberg/Lech, a picturesque, medieval town some 40 miles west of Munich. After earning his Masters of Education (Staatsexamen) degree in 1986 with a double major in English and School Psychology, Winfried moved to the United States to pursue advanced graduate work.
A member of the New Hampshire School Administrators’ Association, Mr. Feneberg also serves on the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators and is a Board Member for the New England School Development Council (NESDEC). As a member of the Rotary Club of New London, he contributes to various benevolent causes in his community. He recently was nominated to the New Hampshire Student Transportation Association (NHSTA) Board of Directors as a representative of superintendents and educational leaders in the state. He previously served as a Board member for the Center for Life Management (CLM) in Salem, NH, as well as for the Southeastern Regional Education Service Center (SERESC).
Winfried is a resident of New London, NH. He is married to his wife Jill (a New London native) who recently retired from a 36-year career as a teacher and literacy specialist. Winfried and Jill have a daughter, Hannah, who, despite her parents’ best efforts to steer her into a career in business, decided to stick with the established family tradition and become an educator as well. She currently teaches 1st grade at Bakie Elementary School in Kingston, NH. Winfried enjoys camping, traveling, skiing, kayaking, and biking. The two family dogs, Sophie and Lily, keep both him and Jill active and busy.
After more than 20 years in public education, including 12 in a variety of administrative roles in Cherry Hill, Dr. Joseph Meloche was appointed Superintendent of the Cherry Hill Public Schools on August 25, 2015. He is the first district alumnus to serve as Superintendent. Prior to returning to Cherry Hill as an educator in September 2003, Dr. Meloche taught middle school humanities and middle school English in the Willingboro and the Maple Shade school districts. He also served as the Director of Curriculum and as the principal of the Steinhauer School in Maple Shade.
Following his return to Cherry Hill, Dr. Meloche served as the principal of the three Cherry Hill schools he attended as a student - Kingston Elementary School, Carusi Middle School, and Cherry Hill High School West. He left his position as the principal of Cherry Hill High School West to become Cherry Hill’s Director of Curriculum in July 2013. Less than one year later, he transitioned to serve the district as the Assistant Superintendent for PreK-12, from February 2014 through August 2015.
Dr. Meloche applied what he learned as a student in Cherry Hill to his own academic pursuits, earning his bachelor’s degree at DeSales University, earning master’s degrees from Holy Family University and Widener University as well as his doctorate in education from Widener University. He and his wife, Ann, live in Cherry Hill and have four daughters – all of whom spent 13 years as students in Cherry Hill. Three will be in college this year as the oldest begins her teaching career in South Jersey in September. Among other interests and pursuits, Dr. Meloche, who is an avid reader, serves the community on the Board of Trustees for the Cherry Hill Library and as an instructor for the second grade sacramental preparation team in his parish. As Superintendent, Dr. Meloche provides the critically essential leadership required to provide an academic environment of excellence throughout the district, which embraces diversity while motivating and engaging all students to be successful as scholars and as people. Equity and student voice are the foundations of Dr. Meloche's ongoing work in Cherry Hill. His collaborative work with the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association (CHAACA), the Cherry Hill Hispanic Civic Association (CHHiCA), the Zone PTA, and the Cherry Hill Special Education PTA (CHSEPTA) allow equity and voice to remain central to every discussion.
Lyon County School District Superintendent Wayne Workman was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in the small town of Stockton, Utah where he graduated from Tooele High School. After serving a two-year LDS mission in Denmark, he earned his bachelor’s degree in education and athletic training from Utah State University and his Master’s degree in administration from the University of Phoenix. His 22-year career in education includes 8 years as a health and sports medicine teacher, 2 years as an assistant principal, 3 years as a principal, 1 year as the Human Resources Director, 3 years as the Deputy Superintendent and is now in his sixth year as Superintendent for the Lyon County School District. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jenni, for 26 years and they are the proud parents of 4 children (Oakley-21, Kobey-19, Kirsten-16 and Raquel-14), all of whom currently attend or graduated from schools in the Lyon County School District. He enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, serving in his church, and serving the students, staff and families of the Lyon County School District.
Dr. Roberto Padilla is the Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Newburgh, New York. From humble beginnings as a child, Padilla learned early on in his life the true meaning of resiliency and grit. He is a life-long educator having been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, coach, professor, and leadership consultant. Even today, he considers himself a teacher who just happens to be a superintendent.
Padilla was a teacher and principal in New York City. He is widely recognized for his leadership in turning around failing schools and supporting school district leaders both nationally and internationally on change leadership. He considers himself to be an equity warrior whose purpose is to give all children a fighting chance at having a productive life. He is committed to placing effective teachers and school leaders in every school.
Dr. Padilla was appointed to Harvard University’s Principal Center’s Advisory Board where he also has served as a group leader and moderator. He received his doctorate from Fordham University. Padilla is a graduate of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents Academy and the AASA Superintendent National Certification Program. He has been a fellow at Columbia University and was a Deeper Learning Equity Fellow with the International National Network of Public Schools. He is a published author and has served on many non-profit Boards and leadership panels throughout his career.
Dr. Robert Hunt was hired as superintendent of Chagrin Falls Schools in June 2012 after serving one year as superintendent in Streetsboro City Schools. Previously, he served Chagrin Falls Schools in a variety of roles including high school assistant principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent. His career began as a middle school English teacher and eventually assistant principal and athletic director at Kenston Schools. In addition, Dr. Hunt has served as an adjunct professor for Ursuline College and Notre Dame College, teaching graduate courses in educational administration, evaluation/supervision, school law and finance.
Dr. Hunt served on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators for seven years and was president of the organization in 2009-2010. In 2007, he received the NASSP State of Ohio Principal of the Year award and the Ohio Educational of Library and Media Association, Administrator of the Year award. In 2020, Dr. Hunt received the prestigious Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Ohio Superintendent Outstanding Performance Award recognizing exceptional leadership with a commitment to deep learning and excellent teaching.
Currently, Dr. Hunt serves on the executive committee for the Alliance and the Lake Geauga Computer Network. Additionally, he is a member of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators Legislative and State Department Committee. Locally, Dr. Hunt serves as the Vice President Chagrin Falls Chamber of Commerce Executive Board.
Dr. Hunt holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kent State University and a master’s degree in education administration from Ursuline College. He obtained his Ph.D. from Kent State University in k-12 educational leadership. His dissertation, The Depth of Sacrifice: Case Study of Educational Administrators Who Have Led in the Aftermath of a Rampage School Shooting, has led to presentations focused on recovery and crisis leadership at the state and national level. Dr. Hunt resides in the Chagrin Falls School District with his wife Shannon and four children Hawken, Emerson, Braden and Ashton.
Superintendent, Dr. Robert Romines is a product of Moore Public Schools and the Moore Community. He was born and raised in Moore and comes from a long line of educators. Dr. Romines began his career as an elementary teacher in 1994, then became a principal in 1998. In 2008, he was promoted to Director of Elementary Education and in 2010 was appointed as the Assistant Superintendent responsible for Personnel and Elementary Education.
Dr. Robert Romines accepted the position of Superintendent for Moore Public Schools on May 13, 2013. A week later an F5 tornado ripped through the community and schools. The months following this tornado presented an overwhelming amount of complex issues which required solutions immediately following his installation as the new superintendent. Unfortunately, seven elementary students passed away, three schools and a technology center were completely destroyed, and members of our staff and community lost their lives. Supt. Romines was immediately charged with leading through this unthinkable tragedy, comprehending the many lives affected, and becoming well-informed with insurance and FEMA. As the district’s leader, he was charged with rebuilding facilities, addressing financial shortfalls, negotiating contracts, and turning tragedy into hope. Due to his relentless advocacy with the district’s insurance companies and FEMA, all school facilities that were a total loss were rebuilt to include a safe room in each of those structures. The total cost of rebuilding was approximately $53 million. In addition, Dr. Romines secured grants in the amount of $2.5 million for recovery efforts districtwide.
The Moore Public Schools community experienced another tragedy on February 3, 2020, when members of the Moore High School Cross-Country team were violently struck by a vehicle while they were running on the sidewalk. This occurred where other athletes were practicing, with hundreds of students witnessing the tragedy and aftermath of it. Due to this tragedy, three of the students lost their lives, four more were injured, and the community was shattered. Supt. Romines and his administrative team immediately led the district in efforts to mourn, begin healing, and honor the lives that were lost and those greatly impacted. He instantly had more than 30 counselors available for students, staff, and families. Because of his leadership, counseling services remain available for these groups still today due to the recently awarded $250,000 grant. Supt. Romines has been instrumental in the development of a memorial that will be available for the community, which will serve as a place of remembrance, healing, and hope.
Supt. Romines has been a staunch advocate for mental and emotional health. He has led imperative conversations with students, staff, and his administrative team to develop a districtwide initiative for mental and emotional health. He utilized the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy to gain student perspective to help meet their mental health needs. Dr. Romines developed the Superintendent’s Leadership Academy in 2014; it is comprised of leadership students from each of the three high schools. Because of his dedication to this important cause, the district now has 11 mental health professionals and a social worker who assist students and staff with healing and growth. The mental health professionals are in addition to the school counselor that are in each school.
Throughout his term as Superintendent, Dr. Romines has led through many tragedies, from weather related, mental/emotional health concerns including suicide, and other events that resulted in loss of student and/or staff members’ lives. He continuously shares that the relationships forged through these tragedies have made him an even more compassionate leader.
In 2018, many educators and staff participated in the state teacher walk-out for increased funding in education and salaries. Dr. Romines led conversations with other superintendents to ensure staff continued to receive pay and benefits while participating in this statewide and almost nationwide movement. Through constant communication with teacher and administrator organizations, Supt. Romines led the return to school undertaking, maintaining the balance of needs and viewpoints between staff, students, and families.
While Dr. Romines has served as Superintendent of Moore Public Schools, the state has experienced two budget short falls and is currently in a nationwide economic crisis. Under his guidance of financial management, the district has increased in many positions which include teachers, counselors, and support professionals. He has led the reevaluation of previously existing contracts for district services to construct agreements that best meet the needs of the district – including areas of transportation, maintenance, substitute teaching, and child nutrition. Additionally, beginning school year 2020-2021, Supt. Romines created 30 additional health positions to ensure there is a health professional at each of the 35 school sites (there were previously 5 health positions).
During the first week of March 2020, Supt. Romines began meeting with officials from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, county health departments, and other government entities to discuss the potential impact of Covid-19, the novel global health pandemic. Dr. Romines led the district with calm, steady, and trusted guidance through an unprecedented, sudden state-enforced end to in-person learning. He directed and empowered members of his administrative team through development of the district’s distance learning plan to complete the school year and commencement ceremonies to honor graduates. Throughout spring and summer months, Supt. Romines continuously met with city, state, and federal officials to remain alert and conversant of Covid-19 updates and mitigation efforts. Supt. Romines safely led one of the largest districts in Oklahoma back to school on August 13, 2020, with three learning options (traditional/in-person, completely online, and distance learning) for families to choose from that best met their personal needs during this very tough time. Through relentless and meticulous planning, trusted relationships, and unwavering commitment to meet the needs of every individual learner and support district staff – Supt. Romines led efforts to continue education in Moore Public Schools and provide some type of normalcy for a hurting and/or stressed community.
Dr. Robert Romines received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master’s Degree in Administration, received his superintendent’s certification from the University of Oklahoma, and obtained his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Capella University. He is proudly married to Traci his wife of 29 years, an elementary school counselor, and they have two daughters, Ashton, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, and Avery, a sophomore at Westmoore High School.
Christy Perry is superintendent of Salem-Keizer Public Schools, the second largest school district in Oregon. She has extensive experience in education, having served as a superintendent in Oregon for more than a decade, with added experience as a director of human resources, elementary school principal, university instructor, and fifth and sixth grade teacher. During her 33 years in education, she has devoted herself to teaching and learning and is a relentless advocate for achievement for all students. Her district serves the largest number of student living in poverty, the most students learning English, and the most migrant students of any school district in Oregon. Students in her district speak 87 different languages as Salem is home to a large number of refugee students. Superintendent Perry is committed to work in racial equity and to dismantling barriers for students of color.
Superintendent Perry is a native Oregonian, raised in the coastal community of Reedsport. She is a first- generation college student but was raised with the expectation that college was the only option. Her mother was a school board member, and her father, who was forced to leave college to run the family business, insisted college was nonnegotiable. She attended college at Oregon universities, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at Western Oregon State College and her administrative license from Portland State University. She recognizes that while she came from a chaotic childhood with limited financial means, her privilege is having strong female role models in her grandmother who advocated for the first public kindergarten in Reedsport back in the 1960s, her mother who was a school board member for 12 years, and a close family friend who was the 1980 Oregon Teacher of the Year. In that same mindset, Superintendent Perry commits to being a strong leadership role model for others.
Superintendent Perry has an entrepreneurial background as her husband and family are small business owners. She values the perspective she has gained about business and its connection to education from her family’s business endeavors. Her business background has fueled her commitment to multiple pathways for students beyond graduation, which has placed Salem-Keizer School District as a state and national leader in career and technical education. Superintendent Perry remains close to the business community as part of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Executive Council, the Keizer Chamber, and as a member of Salem Rotary.
Community engagement is a priority to Superintendent Perry because she believes a community that works together can provide the highest level of education and care for students. She was part of a founding group in her community that worked to build stronger relationships in Salem based on the principles of Outward Mindset. This group has facilitated transformational culture changes within area companies and with students, teachers, and administrators in the district. Most recently, she has been a founding member of the Oregon Women Superintendent’s Council and the Racial Equity Steering Committee for COSA. Superintendent Perry serves on several local and state educational and civic boards to develop and grow community partnerships. She is part of Family Building Blocks, Salem Rotary, Marion and Polk County Early Learning Hubs, the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, and Oregon Association of School Executives. She works closely with government agencies, community-based organizations that serve communities of color, the faith community, and area businesses and non-profit organizations.
Under Superintendent Perry’s leadership, Salem-Keizer Public Schools has experienced great gains. The district has a new state-of-the-art Career Technical Education Center and has increased the number of state-approved CTE programs from 29 to 53. In 2018, the district secured passage of a $619.7 million general obligation bond, the third largest bond for K-12 education in Oregon’s history, to fund improvements at all schools in the district. The district has strategically invested in learning with the adoption of instructional materials for K-5 reading and mathematics, giving students a guaranteed and viable curriculum for the first time in nearly 15 years. The district now has an equity-focused strategic plan to ensure equitable outcomes for students, and graduation rates have increased each year during Superintendent Perry’s tenure as superintendent.
Superintendent Perry believes it is the leader who sets the culture in the organization and that equity work and dismantling centuries-old oppressive structures must be led from the highest level of the organization. She is committed to the district’s mission: All students graduate and are prepared for a successful life.
For over 20 years, Dr. Khalid N. Mumin has served in various capacities as a teacher, dean of students, principal and central administrator.
Dr. Mumin earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Education in Teaching & Curriculum from Pennsylvania State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from Shippensburg University, and an Associate of Arts in English from Northeastern Christian Junior College. He also graduated from the Leadership Maryland Program, as a member of the Class of 2012, and he is a member of several national and local organizations.
The strength in his leadership revolves around being a student-centered educator, who has a vision of success for all students and a belief that building positive relationships through cultural competencies is paramount in promoting student success. Dr. Mumin is a change agent and is committed to promoting and sustaining student achievement, equity and access to educational programming for all students, as well as creating plans that are fiscally responsible. Dr. Mumin maintains a keen focus on fostering collaboration with stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, administrators, community, public officials, business partners, and higher education institutions.
Dr. Mumin has a documented history of success of possessing excellent leadership skills and has been recognized nationally as a “School Board Savvy Superintendent”, and is the author of the book entitled, Problem Child: Leading Students Living in Poverty Towards Infinite Possibilities of Success. He has also received several awards as follows: Superintendent to Watch (National School Public Relations Association, 2016), Champion for Youth (Mentors for Berks, 2017), Excellence in Educational Leadership (Boscov’s, 2016), Courageous Institution Award (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, 2017), Amigo Award (Daniel Torres Centro Hispano, 2017), Innovative School Leader (Pennsylvania School Boards Association, 2018), Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumni Award (Shippensburg University, 2019) and was selected as the 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.
James H. Erinakes, II has been the Superintendent of Schools for the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District in Rhode Island since 2012. His 30-year career in education began as a mathematics teacher at both the middle and high school levels in Coventry, Rhode Island. He went on to serve as a Mathematics Department Chairman at Coventry High School and then served as Assistant Principal for the Knotty Oak Middle School, also in Coventry. In 2007, he was appointed to the role of Assistant Superintendent for Student Services where he served until his appointment as Superintendent in Exeter-West Greenwich in 2012. Additionally, Mr. Erinakes has been an adjunct instructor of mathematics at the Community College of Rhode Island, and has been an instructor in the Johnson & Wales University teacher preparation program since 2015.
Mr. Erinakes has been an active member of the Rhode Island Superintendents' Association since 2010 and has assumed the roles of Regional Representative on the Executive Board and Secretary of the organization before being elected as the Vice President in 2020. He is a member of several subcommittees, including the legislative committee and the committee that works closely with the Department of Children, Youth and Families to align educational programming for many of our most vulnerable children. In addition, he has served on several committees of the Rhode Island Department of Education, including the Leadership Advisory Committee, the Race to the Top Committee and the Teaching and Learning Partnership. Mr. Erinakes is a Past-President of the Rhode Island Math Teachers' Association and served two terms as a member of the Fr. John V. Doyle School Board, a private school in his home town.
Mr. Erinakes received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Rhode Island in 1990, a Master of Arts in Teaching (Mathematics) degree from Providence College in 1994, a Master of Education degree in School Administration from Rhode Island College in 2003, and a Master of Education Degree in Special Education from Providence College in 2010. He is a current member of the Enhanced Leadership Development Network and is actively participating in an Advanced Equity Institute with members of the administration and staff of Exeter-West Greenwich. He was the first Nationally Board Certified Teacher from Rhode Island in 1994 and was named the Coventry Teacher of the Year in 2000. He has been a finalist for the Rhode Island State Teacher of the Year and the Rhode Island Assistant Principal of the Year, and received the SUPERintendent's Award from the new England League of Middle Schools in 2018.
During his tenure as Superintendent, Exeter-West Greenwich has implemented full-day kindergarten for all students, expanded the public preschool program, implemented a district-wide technology infrastructure upgrade and a 1:1 instructional technology program for all students in grades 6 through 12, introduced an elementary foreign language program to all students in grades 2 through 6, transitioned to a standards-based grading system, added several Career and Technical Education programs and expanded Advanced-Placement offerings (and access) at the Senior High School.
A life-long Rhode Islander, Mr. Erinakes actually grew up in the community where he now serves as Superintendent. He currently lives in Coventry with his nine-year-old son, Kaden.
Dr. J.R. Green has served the students of South Carolina for the past quarter century in the capacity of teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. For the past eight years he has served as the superintendent of schools for the Fairfield County School District. His presence has brought stability to a school district which observed approximately 12 different superintendents over a 20 year span. Prior to his arrival he was warned the Fairfield County Schools was, “the graveyard for superintendents.” His reply was, “I don’t have plans of dying anytime soon.”
The district adopted the motto of, “Excellence through Teamwork” and the slogan of, “moving from ordinary to extraordinary.” Stakeholders throughout the county embraced their collective responsibility for maximizing the academic and personal potential of every young person in the community. As a way to communicate this vision and provide opportunity for engagement, Dr. Green began visiting and speaking at places of worship and community events whenever invitations were extended. He estimates that he has visited or spoken at approximately 75 churches during his tenure in Fairfield County. In addition, he has held quarterly town hall meetings, quarterly faith leaders and business partner breakfasts, and quarterly focus group meeting with faculty and staff. His community outreach has been a vital component of the district’s success.
New milestones were reached relatively soon after Dr. Green’s arrival. In 2013 the district began the construction of a state of the art career and technology center that included programs such as engineering, barbering, nursing, auto collision, and more. District leadership had spent over a decade pursing this facility upgrade, but were unable to accomplish this goal. For the first time in the history of the district a school was recognized as a Palmetto’s Finest Winner. Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science was awarded this distinction in 2014.
Upon his arrival, Dr. Green launched the STEM Early College Academy initiative. This was a partnership with Midlands Technical College which provided Fairfield County students the opportunity to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree in Science. The 2020 graduating class represents the 3rd Cohort to graduate from this cutting edge program. Twenty-one of the 180 graduates from this class have earned Associate Degrees, and eight earned General Studies Certificates. Additionally, 35% of the graduating class has earned at least one college credit prior to graduating.
One of the proudest moments of Dr. Green’s tenure is the recognition of Fairfield Central High teacher, Ms. Chanda Jefferson, as the 2020 South Carolina State Teacher of the Year. Ms. Jefferson’s recognition represents the first time the district has had a State Teacher of the Year.
A native South Carolinian, Dr. Green currently resides in Winnsboro with his wife Tonya and daughters, Jamara, Janelle, and Jacia. He is an active member of many organizations to include: the Omicron Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Providence Health Board of Trustees, Board of Directors for Midlands Education & Business Alliance, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Bow Tie Mentoring Club, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Organization.
Dr. Green’s philosophy is simply, “Do your best.”
Terry D. Nebelsick
130 15th Street, SW, Huron, SD 57350
Family: Married to Diana for 43 years
Daughter: Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery & husband Brian Lowery
Grandsons Daschle 13 & Dawson 10, Granddaughter Anniston 4
Daughter: Kayla Nebelsick & husband Dave Hartz
Son: Jeremy Nebelsick & wife Rachel Nebelsick
Grandsons Westin 4 & Corbin 9 months
Education: 1993 – Ed.S - School District Administration - University of South Dakota
1986 - MA - Secondary School Administration - University of South Dakota
1978 - BA - Communication / Theater - Dakota Wesleyan University
Certification: SD - #304 – Preschool-12 Career School Superintendent
SD - #302 – 7-12 Principal
SD - #205 – Secondary Education W/5-8 Middle Level
Experience: 2011-Present: Huron SD School District #2-2 Superintendent of Schools
1994-2011: Huron SD High School - Principal
1991-1994: Lead SD High School - Principal
1986-1991: McCook Central (Salem, SD) High School - Principal/Activities Director
1982-1986: Gregory SD High School - Teacher/Coach
1980-1982: KWYR radio in Winner, SD - Sportscaster and Announcer
1977-1980: Artesian High School - Teacher/Coach/Athletic Director
Interests: Family and Church activities - Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, Finance Chairperson,
Pastor Parish Committee, Lay Speaker for Area Churches.
Motivation Speaker, Basketball Referee, Kiwanis Member.
Honors & 2016-21 Governor Daugaard and Governor Noem School Finance Accountability Board Chairman
Organizations 2015 Governor Daugaard's Juvinile Justice Reform Committee
2015-20 South Dakota School Superintendents Association Executive Board (2019-2020 President)
2008-13 South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors (j2011-2012 Chairman)
2002-08: North Central Accreditation State Committee
2002: Governor Round’s Education Task Force
2000: SDASSP Principal of the Year
2000: Governor Janklow’s Education Review Committee
1997: President - School Administrators of South Dakota
1996: Governor Janklow’s Committee on Educating Youth Prisoners
1995: Outstanding Educator, Dakota Wesleyan University
1994: United Methodist Committee on New Church Development
1993: Deadwood-Lead Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
1986 - Outstanding Graduate, M.A., USD Educational Administration
1983 - Outstanding Young Educator - Gregory Jaycees
Dr. Bryan Johnson just completed his third school year as Superintendent of Schools in Hamilton County with student academic results showing historic levels of improvement. For the first time, the district's overall composite, and each subject area measured, achieved Level 5 - the highest level of academic growth on the latest state testing results, and 32 schools achieving Reward status - the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Dr. Johnson's vision when he arrived in Hamilton County Schools was for the district to become the fastest improving school district in the state. Hamilton County Schools was #130 in student academic growth when he arrived and is now the #2 district in the state, making Hamilton County Schools the fastest improving school district in Tennessee!
Dr. Johnson launched Future Ready Institutes in high schools to provide future-ready graduates prepared for success. The program was awarded the Urban League of Chattanooga's Community Impact Award. Under Dr. Johnson's leadership. Middle and high schools are 1-to-1 technology schools providing each student with an electronic learning device. The district was recognized for STEM technology by MIT's Fab Foundation with the world's highest concentration of Fab Labs in our schools right here in Hamilton County. The district developed a comprehensive five-year action plan called Future Ready 2023 to provide a roadmap for continuous improvement efforts as staff and students work to become one of the best school districts in the state.
The success of Hamilton County Schools has earned Dr. Johnson state and national recognition. He was named a 2020 Leader To Learn From by national education publication, EdWeek, and is the Southeast Tennessee Superintendent of the Year and one of eight finalists for the Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.
Dr. Johnson is a proud product of public schools. He majored in business administration at Austin Peay State University and was named an Austin Peay 2019 Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner. He holds a master's in teaching from Belmont and a doctorate in educational leadership from Trevecca.
Bryan is married to Candy Johnson, and they have two children Malia, a graduate of Hamilton County Schools attending the University of Tennessee, and Bryan Jr., a third-grade student in the district. Dr. Johnson is passionate about fostering a learning environment allowing children to thrive and believes the role of public education is to ensure every child is ready for success after graduation.
Dr. J. A. Gonzalez is a teacher at heart. Put a marker in his hand and a blank whiteboard beside him and his eyes light up. Whether his audience is made up of students or fellow professionals, he relishes the opportunity to teach.
“I am fascinated with the art of teaching and learning,” he said. “Everyone is some kind of smart —be it mathematical, verbal, kinesthetic, or musical. We all have a particular learning style, and it is our job, as educators, to help our students discover their talents and to build on their natural skill sets.”
Dr. J.A. Gonzalez became the McAllen Independent School District’s Superintendent in August, 2016, and in the summer of 2020, he was named the Region One Superintendent of the Year. He was then named a State Finalist for 2020 Texas Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Gonzalez is one of just five finalists for the State award.
He oversees a District that is characterized as a District of Champions, with amazing standings, including state-ranked academic and finance programs, as well as nationally ranked high schools, music program, health and PE program, and so much more.
Under his wing, the District has enjoyed some major accomplishments on the state and national stage. Some of these include:
• Earning an “A” designation by the Texas Education Agency for two straight years (2018 and 2019).
• Earning the state’s Post-Secondary Readiness Distinction three consecutive years (2017-19).
• Earning Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (School FIRST) for the 17th time in 18 years with perfect score the last nine years and 14 perfect scores overall.
• McAllen ISD high schools ranked among America's best schools by either US News & World Report or The Washington Post for the sixth straight year. All five ranked by US News & World Report in spring 2020.
• Implementing a State & National award-winning Strategic Plan for the District.
• Leading the District as the community passed a Tax Ratification Election with 76 percent voter approval in 2018.
• The District being named “Favorite School District” in The Monitor’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
• The District being nominated for Best Large District in Texas in H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards in 2018.
• Serving a School Board which was nominated for School Board/Leadership Award in H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards in 2019.
• Sam Houston Elementary School earning a national Blue-Ribbon Award in 2019.
• The District being named a national Best Community for Music Education for eight consecutive years.
• Overseeing the District as all eligible schools have been named among America’s Healthiest Schools since 2014.
It is worth noting that only three school districts in Texas, with an enrollment of at least 20,000 students, earned all three major state awards in 2019 (State “A” ranking, Post-Secondary Readiness Distinction and School FIRST with a perfect score).
He led the transformation in March 2020, to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our educational community in a way that kept instruction at the forefront, while keeping our students and staff safe. Through it all, the district continued providing meals for the community, and students did not miss a single day of instruction. This accomplishment was chronicled in the education journal, Texas Lonestar magazine, in its July 2020 issue.
“We’re a world-class district. In McAllen ISD, it’s not about programs,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “It’s about people, and we have great people in this dynamic community and our district. The key is to work collectively to execute the vision for our district as we move deeper into the twenty-first century.”
In addition, Dr. Gonzalez has implemented many new programs and features. These include:
• Initiated creation of STEAM-Plus teaching and learning framework.
• Established elementary UIL, chess, and robotics programs.
• Initiated the creation of Tech Wars in which high school students competed in a unique robotics competition.
• Initiated the first e-sports tournament in the Rio Grande Valley.
• Built relationships with city, chamber of commerce, economic development corporation, and McAllen Boys and Girls Club.
• Created a leadership model.
• Reduced payroll costs for 2016-17 by $1.3 million.
• Created McTalks framework to spotlight alumni, staff, and students.
• Established lifecycle replacement schedule for facilities and equipment.
• Created the STRIDES Program for special needs students who have graduated.
• Created a Parent Education Program.
• Moved Career Technical Education Program to Achieve Early College High.
• Initiated a Mental Health Fair.
• Created golf and fishing tournaments to raise scholarship money, so high school students can visit colleges and universities.
• Created a Youth Apprenticeship Program through South Texas College and Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Gonzalez initiated the creation of STEAM-Plus in Pre-K-12 grades. This learning framework places a great emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, including coding, rocketry, and robotics. STEAM-Plus also systematically addresses a child’s emotional intelligence. It focuses on the five key components of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. McAllen ISD also continues to support the highly acclaimed International Baccalaureate Teaching and Learning Framework at elementary, middle, and high school levels. In fact, the IB Diploma Programme at Lamar Academy was awarded the IB School of Distinction Award in 2017.
A former state finalist for Principal of the Year and a participant in The Principals’ Center at Harvard University, Dr. Gonzalez has a wealth of experience and a passion for teaching. He has taught in the Educational Leadership Department as a Practicing Lecturer at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
Dr. Gonzalez served as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Instructional Leadership from 2012-16. His primary role included coaching, supervising and evaluating all principals in the District. He has also served as a Principal, Assistant Principal, Teacher, and Coach in multiple sports during his 25-year educational career (23 with McAllen ISD).
He is active in the community as well. Some of the professional clubs, organizations, and committees he serves on include:
• Texas Association of Secondary School Principals
• Golden Key International Honor Society
• Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society
• Honorary Member of the McAllen Rotary Club
• Member of Raise Your Hand Texas
• UTPA College of Education Advisory Committee
• The Principals’ Center Alumni (at Harvard University)
• Leadership McAllen- Class XXXIII (2014)
• Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Citizens Academy (2015)
• Member, Board of Directors for McAllen Chamber (2017-21)
• McAllen Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors
• Region One Regional Advisory Council of Superintendents: Executive Committee Member
• John Maxwell Team Certified Member (2018)
Born in Laredo, Dr. Gonzalez was raised in Hebbronville. He graduated from Texas A&M University—Kingsville with a Bachelor of Science in 1996 and earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Pan American in 1999. Between 2000 and 2003, he earned his Mid-Management Administrator and Superintendent Certifications. His Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership was completed in 2008 through the University of Texas-Pan American.
Dr. Gonzalez married Shahroo T. Gonzalez, who is also an educator. They have three children – Joe Douglas (9), Samantha Isabella (7), and Joshua Jay (6).
Dr. Melody Hackney is completing her fifteenth year as a school superintendent in Virginia. For the past five years, she has served as Superintendent for Hopewell City Public Schools. Formerly, she served ten years as Superintendent of Charlotte County Public Schools and four years as Deputy Superintendent for Mecklenburg County Public Schools. She has also served as Director of Instruction, Coordinator of Alternative Education Services, Principal and Special Education Teacher. Additionally, she has experience in leading community services for adults with disabilities and teaching at the post secondary level at Shenandoah University, Liberty University, Southside Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Hackney is an active member of numerous professional organizations and has special interest and expertise in the areas of: servant leadership development, 21st Century teaching and learning, organizational behavior and communication, project based learning, student discipline, alternative education, school safety, gang awareness and parent education.
Dr. Hackney has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and two Master of Science degrees: one in Business Administration and one in Education Administration. She received her doctorate in Education Leadership, Policy and Foundations in 2012 from the University of Virginia
David Younce serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Mill River Unified Union School District. A resident of Arlington VT, he is the proud husband of Beth Younce and the father of two incredible sons, Logan and Nathan.
He began his career as a substitute teacher and football coach, transitioning into full-time teaching as a middle and high school social studies teacher. He has served as a coach (football, volleyball and track), athletic director, assistant principal, principal and superintendent in his career. He taught and led in the Indian Prairie School District in Naperville and Aurora, IL prior to moving to Vermont in 2014. He joined the MRUUSD as its Superintendent of Schools in July of 2014.
David holds a BS in History / Secondary Education from Bradley University and a MA in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.
He is committed to the beliefs that all students can learn at their own unique, high levels and that communities benefit from outstanding schools that serve students with quality leadership, consistent care and relentless focus.
David currently serves as the President of the Vermont Superintendents Association and a member of the AASA Governing Board. He was named by his colleagues as the Vermont Superintendent of the Year for 2020.
Dr. Michelle Reid was unanimously selected as superintendent by the Northshore School District Board of Directors in June 2016 following an extensive national search.
Dr. Reid was formerly the superintendent of South Kitsap School District. Prior to becoming South Kitsap's superintendent, she served as deputy superintendent, district athletic director and high school principal in the Port Angeles School District.
She is known regionally and nationally for instructional leadership and crafting sustainable systems for district support of the instructional core. She has been a conference keynote presenter, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) panel participant and has been a leadership facilitator at both the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership and the Harvard Institute for School Leadership.
Reid received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington, master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Washington, and her bachelor’s degree in Natural Science/Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound.
I think you will find most of what you want in my resume and on my major accomplishments sheet. My wife and I are both Royall High School graduates. We have 4 children ages 12 - 18 all who attend Royall. I have a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and 25+ years of administrative work, starting my 13th as a District Administrator. I believe my two greatest strengths are my communications skills and my work ethic. As you will read, I have averaged over 800 hours of "bonus" time annually for the past 10 years, and have worked literally more than 1/2 of the nights in the year - each year! (I started keeping track of my hours to help justify a full time District Administrator to our public.)
I had a great job in Eleva-Strum as the District Administrator, but when I was approached by people from the Royall community, I felt compelled to move back and do everything in my power to help the district survive. Since my arrival we have worked tirelessly to change what part time leadership created over a 10 year gap. The Royall School District literally had the white flag up and was failing in almost every area.
I have literally taken on every role in our small rural school district. I rotated the ice cube trays daily my first year so our students had ice for athletics and daily bumps and bruises, I met the cement truck 35 different times, mostly on Saturday mornings. I coach youth sports when we can not find anyone else. I have reffed ms/hs volleyball, wrestling matches, and umpired softball when we could not find a ref/ump, and I do the maintenance on our vehicles including vacuuming them out and washing them. I filled in as our buildings and grounds director during a number of different spells including a 8 week span where our director was out after a surgery. Yes - I have cleaned up puke, unplugged many a toilet, shoveled the snow and ran the skid steer to unload semis. I have hauled over 50 loads of recycled computers, desks, tv, etc. as we closed a school and made huge technological advances. Meanwhile, our team has focused on our real task at hand of improving our educational offerings for our students. I am most proud of our academic awards and our 100% graduation rate over the past 7 years. (We were below 80% before I started at Royall.)
I am not sure how this process works, but I certainly hope we get a chance to share with you all that we accomplished at Royall over the past 10 years. Our team deserves some recognition for what can only be called a total transformation of the Royall School District.
Blaine C. Hess, a native of Clendenin, West Virginia, has served as Superintendent of Jackson County Schools since July 1, 2006. Mr. Hess, a 1979 graduate of Herbert Hoover High School, earned a B.A. in Music Education from Alderson-Broaddus College and his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Marshall University Graduate College.
During his tenure as Superintendent, Jackson County Schools has implemented significant measures to improve student achievement and improve the facilities utilized by students. Under Mr. Hess’ leadership, a county-wide Literacy Initiative was launched which has resulted in significant growth in student achievement. In the realm of technology, Jackson County Schools has implemented a 1:1 technology program in which all high school students are assigned a MacBook for their use and students in grades 3-8 are equipped with iPads. Advanced Placement and College Dual Credit options have increased significantly for high school students in order to prepare them for their college or career plans.
Mr. Hess is again serving as President of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators (WVASA) and was selected as the 2013 West Virginia Superintendent of the Year. He also serves in a number of other professional capacities, such as Chairman of the Roane Jackson Technical Center Administrative Council, a member of the Jackson County Development Authority (JCDA), Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition and the We Care Committee, which promotes school safety. After representing West Virginia for four years as a member of the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Mr. Hess was recently elected to serve on the AASA Executive Committee. Mr. Hess was once again honored by the West Virginia Association of School Administrators with his selection as the 2020 West Virginia Superintendent of the Year.