You can now proceed to the nomination or application forms.
|Name||State||Photo & Bio|
Robert Thomason, superintendent, Petersburg School District, Petersburg, AK.
As a former principal, director of instructional technology, and director of personnel, Robert Thomason brought a well-matched skill set to Petersburg School District in 2009. The southeast Alaskan school district was in the midst of administrative and staff turmoil, declining enrollment, and a fledgling state sponsored one to one laptop program for grades 9 – 12. Under Thomason’s guidance the district has experienced labor harmony for the last 4 years and home school students are again participating in public education.
The instructional technology program has expanded dramatically. An interactive whiteboard is in every classroom, laptop computers, and iPads are in all schools, staff has received extensive instructional technology training, and the Google Education Suite has been adopted as the primary resource for communication, collaboration, production, and organization. An off site alternative education program designed to meet the unique needs of students in danger of prematurely leaving school is in place and a culinary arts program has been added to the vocational education program. A large “healthy living grant” was obtained from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and the district is a recognized leader in providing healthy nutrition services to students.
Thomason earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno where he was honored as the outstanding 1990 graduate by the UNR educational leadership faculty. He holds an M.Ed. in Education Administration from the University of La Verne and a B.A. and teacher certification from California State University, Chico. Thomason is past president of the Alaska Association of School Administrators and past president of the Southeast Regional Resource Center, based in Juneau
|Warren Craig Pouncey||AL||
Warren Craig Pouncey
Dr. Kim Wilbanks
Superintendent, Jonesboro Public Schools
As a 29 year veteran of education, Dr. Kim Wilbanks currently serves as the Superintendent for Jonesboro Public Schools. Dr. Wilbanks is beginning her seventh year in this capacity. Dr. Wilbanks began her education career in 1984 teaching kindergarten, spending 8 years in that role. She received her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1990 and her administration career soon followed, serving as numerous administrative roles.
One of the first Arkansas recipients of the national educator award from the Milkin Family Foundation, she has also been named the 2010 Outstanding Business Woman of the Year for Jonesboro. Dr. Wilbanks has served on the board of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, and Arkansas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Economics Arkansas.
Dr. Wilbanks has been married 29 years to Jon Wilbanks and they have two daughters, Natalie and Abbie.
Through Dr. Wilbanks' vision and leadership, the Jonesboro Public School system has seen not only a growth in students, but also a renewed enthusiasm for learning because she believes "excellence is a standard - not a goal - for every student."
George Welsh has been superintendent of schools in Center, a small rural district of approximately 620 students in south-central Colorado, for the past 17 years. Prior to this, Welsh grew up in Tucson, Arizona, graduating from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of arts in secondary education and teaching social studies for 9 years at Tortolita Middle School in the Marana Unified School District. He then earned a master’s degree in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University in May 1995.
When Welsh arrived in Center in 1996 he took over the leadership of a district with a 90% poverty, 90% minority, 50% English Language Learner, and 33% migrant student population. At that time Center High School had a 13% dropout rate, a 33% graduation rate, and fewer than 20% of CHS graduates were still engaged in higher education opportunities by their second year out of high school. Since then Center Schools has established a well implemented one to one technology device program using iPads and laptop computers, built a brand new PK-12 facility through a state grant process, and has comprehensively trained administrative staff as instructional leaders, supporting quality teaching of the Colorado state standards and being at the forefront of implementation of Colorado's new administrator and teacher effectiveness system. In the past 5 years Center Schools has emerged as a statewide leader in rural education, showing growth in student achievement, according to the Colorado Growth Model, at a rate greater than the statewide average in all tested areas. As a result Center High School's dropout rate has been reduced to 2.5%, the graduation rate has increased to 93%, and more than 75% of Center High School graduates are still engaged in higher education opportunities two years after leaving school. Additionally, Haskin Elementary School in the Center School District, has become a model for school turnaround processes as it progressed from Turnaround status in 2010, the lowest possible rating according to Colorado's School Performance Frameworks report card, to Performing in 2013, the highest possible rating.
Welsh served as the president of the Colorado Association of School Administrators in 2011-12, serves on the Colorado Department of Education's Rural Education Council, is the chair of the Colorado Safe Schools Resource Center Advisory Council, serves as chief facilitator of the San Luis Valley Race to the Top consortium, and was recognized with the Demont award as Colorado's rural administrator of the year in December 2010.
|Dr. Keith Owen||CO||
Dr. Keith Owen
Janet Robinson, Ph.D.
Dr. Robinson started teaching in Florida by substituting while her husband was in Naval Flight training. She continued teaching while they were stationed in Atsugi, Japan – preschool in the mornings and English at times in the afternoons. When they moved to Hawaii, Dr. Robinson attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii and received her teaching certificate. When they moved back to their home state of California, she taught in Anaheim while continuing graduate work. She became a counselor and then a school psychologist.
Moving to Connecticut, Dr. Robinson worked for what is now Education Connections as a school psychologist. However, the result of a Newsweek article on the work that Lee Canter, with whom she collaborated in California, was doing on the west coast brought demand for professional development on classroom management to the east coast. Dr. Robinson spent the next 18 years as a consultant to school districts across the country.
Weary of travelling, Dr. Robinson became the Deputy Executive Director of Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.). She then became Superintendent in Preston, followed by Derby, and then Newtown for 5 ½ years. She has just assumed the Superintendency in Stratford, CT in July.
Nile C. Kinnick High School, Yokohama, Japan
California State University, Long Beach, B.A.
University of Hawaii, Teaching Certificate
California State University, Long Beach, M.S., School Psychologist Certification
University of Connecticut, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut Superintendent of the Year 2013.
Western CT State University President’s Award 2013
Greater Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce Award 2013
CT Association of School Superintendents Exemplary Leadership Award 2013
Peace Islands Educator of the Year Award 2013
|James Thompson, Jr.||CT||
James Thompson, Jr.
|Kathleen C. Greider||CT||
Kathleen C. Greider
|David C Ring Jr||DE||
David C. Ring, Jr., Superintendent of Schools, Delmar, DE
Ring was named superintendent in July 2005 for one of the few bi-state school systems in the country - the school district serves students from Delaware and Maryland. He makes a concerted effort to understand the multitude of differences between the Maryland and Delaware educational systems, and fosters the Delmar community spirit and the district’s common vision of developing and continuing the Bi-State Agreement. Ring works diligently with a variety of stakeholder groups from both Delaware and Maryland (Departments of Education, School Boards, Administrators, and Attorneys) to ensure the integrity and longevity of the agreement.
Ring has served K-12 education for the past 32-years and for the past 9-years as Delmar’s superintendent. He served 16-years in the middle and high school classroom, and also as a former academic chairperson, assistant principal, principal, curriculum specialist, and regional education director.
He completed his under-graduate degree at St. Francis University (PA) in Education and English. After several years of classroom teaching he completed a Master’s degree in Education from St. Joseph’s University (PA). He continued his studies at Towson University (MD) and completed the required coursework to be certified as a School Administrator. On April 30, 2003 he received a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. His research and dissertation focused on the "The Behavioral Affects of High School Students in relation to Academic Performance".
Besides his service to the District, he also serves at the discretion of Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell as an Executive Board member for JDG (Jobs for Delaware Graduates). He serves on the Executive Board for DASA (Delaware Association of School Administrators) and DSBA (Delaware School Board Association).
In June 2012 Ring completed his term as president for Delaware’s CSOA (Chief School Officers Association). As president he worked for greater collaboration between Delaware’s 19-superintendents, Delaware’s Department of Education and the Governor’s office. He also resurrected the Education Consortium, a group of stakeholders throughout the state that works with legislators in evaluating, supporting and promoting legislation directly associated with K-12 education.
Ring believes that his leadership role extends beyond the school house and for this reason he is committed to serving the Delmar community as a Commissioner for the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, an active member of the local VFW and Lion’s Club, and membership with the Delmar Revitalization Committee and the Delmar Historical Society. He works closely with the Delmar Police and Fire Departments while maintaining a working relationship as superintendent and as a resident of the town.
Ring resides in Delmar with his wife, and is the proud father of two children and one grandson.
David C Ring Jr
Alberto M. Carvalho Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS).
Alberto Carvalho became Superintendent of the nation’s fourth largest school system in September 2008. He is a nationally recognized expert on school reform and finance who successfully transformed his district’s business operations and financial systems with the implementation of a streamlined Strategic Framework, aligning resources to classroom priorities resulting in dramatic increases in reserves, bond ratings and student achievement. M-DCPS is now widely considered the nation’s highest-performing urban school system winning the coveted 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education. On November 6, 2012, following four years of extraordinary District performance, Miami-Dade confirmed its faith in their public schools and their Superintendent by passing a $1.2 Billion Bond Referendum for school construction.
A versatile leader, Carvalho is the self-appointed principal of two award-winning schools—the Primary Learning Center and the iPrep Academy, and has served as President of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. Florida’s 2014 Superintendent of the Year, he has been also been named by Scholastic Administrator as one of “The Fantastic Five” educators making a difference in America. He has received the Hispanic Heritage Education Award; 2013 National Child Labor Committee Ron H. Brown Award; and been acknowledged as Visionary Leader of the Year by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; South Florida’s Ultimate CEO; and recognized for Leadership in Government by the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He is a member of Florida’s Council of 100, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He has been honored by the President of Portugal with the “Ordem de Mérito Civil,“ and by Mexico with the “Othli Award,” the highest award for a civilian living outside of Mexico. Carvalho has been featured on CNN, NBC, and ABC, and in publications such as The New York Times, District Administration Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Dr. Michele Taylor, Superintendent Calhoun City Schools
Dr. Taylor has served as superintendent of Calhoun City Schools for the past six years. Prior to this appointment she served as an assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, instructional coordinator, media specialist and classroom teacher.
This is the second year that the Calhoun City Schools’ Board of Education nominated Taylor and the second year she was named a finalist, earning the 2014 Georgia Superintendent of the Year Award. Under her guidance over the last six years, the system has experienced increased academic advancement and achievement. Calhoun City Schools is proud to have the third highest system average graduation rate in the state with a rate of 94%. This has increased from a 2003 rate of 67%. “Dr. Taylor will not rest until she sees 100% of our student graduating," states Amy Atkinson, chairman of the Board. Calhoun City Schools was among the first in the state to earn SACS District Accreditation as well as System Charter status. The system's strategic plan continues to be the framework for school improvement and recently earned commendations from the accreditation team for its strong alignment of the mission and school improvement plans. The AdvancEd Team noted, "Calhoun City Schools has a visionary Superintendent and School Board who are dedicated to increasing student achievement during difficult economic times."
Since her first year as Superintendent, Dr. Taylor has been challenged with the unprecedented loss of state education funding. The system has weathered the financial hardships of recent years and has emerged as a system which is now in a position to expand and build upon its outstanding programs. This is in large part due to the careful planning of Dr. Taylor and her team. In a year when many are increasing furlough days, cutting programs and staff, Calhoun City Schools is able and committed to provide the resources necessary to meet the needs of the students and has restored educator workdays. Continuing to do more with less, Calhoun City Schools had the fifth lowest per student expenditure last year which was well below the state average while student performance was well above the state average. Under Dr. Taylor's leadership, in spite of an uncertain economy, the system's financial balance sheet remains strong and continues to improve.
Over the past six years, Calhoun City Schools has earned record numbers of region and state championships in academics, arts and athletic competitions. All schools have earned Distinguished Title I Schools recognition, a National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Award, Governor's Platinum Award, Governor’s Highest Progress Award, AP Honor and Merit School Awards and the system has had schools on the U.S. News and World Report's "Best Schools in the Nation" list for the past several years.
Dr. Taylor is a fervent supporter of Calhoun City Schools and also a product, graduating from Calhoun High School in 1986. She was recognized by her peers as Teacher of the Year in 1996 and as Gordon County's Young Careerist of the Year by the Calhoun Business and Professional Women in 1997. She earned the Distinguished Kiwanis President Award in 2003 and an Educational Celebrity Award from Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement in 2004. In 2012 she participated in the United Way / Gem Theatre fundraising campaign where she and her partner helped raise more than $20,000 earning them the People's Choice Award.
"Dr. Taylor holds herself to the highest standard of all; no one works harder," continues Chairman Atkinson. "In addition to the normal work week, she spends countless mornings, nights and weekends supporting school events and talking with students and parents." She makes learning personal by getting to know the students by name and sending encouraging notes to recognize their achievements. Her energy and enthusiasm seems limitless and infectious.” This year she and her team proudly opened the doors to the new Calhoun High School building after a long and arduous campaign to secure funding and the state's approval to keep the high school in its existing location. Other superintendents might have given up on the dream to make a new high school happen but Dr. Taylor knew the students needed a safer school that was conducive to learning and she didn't take no for an answer. A carefully phased construction plan allowed students to remain in their older school buildings while construction took place. The new middle / high school complex will focus on college and career programs to prepare our future workforce and continue Calhoun City Schools' tradition of excellence.
Taylor's leadership style helps to shape an organizational culture where great things happen, creative ideas are embraced, and everyone moves forward together toward accomplishing the district's mission and vision. This year Calhoun City Schools launched a new COLA program which offers an online learning platform for students in grades 6-12. The Calhoun Online Learning Academy is just one of the innovative initiatives advancing the system's efforts to meet the needs of all learners. Students and teachers are utilizing advanced technology which is changing the way we do business in the schools. It's exciting to know that our students are ahead of the curve. A College and Career Academy, STEM Programs and an Arts Academy have also elevated the opportunities for our students. Superintendent Taylor seeks to engage the district’s Partners in Education and School Governance Teams and is proud of the continued success to ensure 100% participation of all parents in fall and spring parent/teacher conferences.
Taylor is an adjunct professor for educational leadership specialist degree programs for Lincoln Memorial University and Piedmont College. She is also involved throughout the Calhoun community volunteering time and committing to life-long learning. She is the president of the Calhoun Gordon Council for a Literate Community and has served on the Gordon County Chamber Board of Directors, United Way Allocations Panel, Big Brothers / Big Sisters Board, Gordon Calhoun Arts Council and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa. She has served as President of Kiwanis Club and is a current member of the Calhoun Rotary Club. She presently serves as chairman of Leadership Calhoun / Gordon County's steering committee. Additionally, Dr. Taylor has supported professional organizations such as the Georgia School Superintendents' Association, recently serving on the nominating committee and she is a member of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and American Association of School Administrators. She is a member of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and was elected to their Foundation Board of Trustees. She was appointed to Georgia's Visioning Project steering committee in 2013. In the coming year, she will chair Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency’s Board of Control and is a member of the Georgia System Charter Foundation Board of Directors. She has also served as an Executive Board Member of Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement and the State School Superintendent's Advisory Council.
Superintendent Taylor Named Finalist for 2014 Georgia Superintendent of the Year
The Georgia School Superintendents Association named Dr. Michele Taylor, superintendent of Calhoun City Schools, one of four finalists for 2014 Georgia Superintendent of the Year. The winner will be announced in December and will represent Georgia in the American Association of School Administrators' Superintendent of the Year Program. The other finalists include Buster Evans, Forsyth County Schools; Phillip Lanoue from the Clarke County School District and Matt Arthur from Rabun County Schools.
This is the second year that the Board of Education nominated Taylor and the second year she has been named a finalist. "Under her guidance over the last six years, the system has experienced increased academic advancement and achievement. Calhoun City Schools is proud to have the third highest system average graduation rate in the state with a rate of 94.06%. This has increased from a 2003 rate of 67% and I am confident that Dr. Taylor will not rest until she sees 100% of our students graduating," states Amy Atkinson, chairman of the Board. Calhoun City Schools was among the first in the state to earn SACS District Accreditation as well as System Charter status. The system's strategic plan continues to be the framework for school improvement and recently earned commendations from the accreditation team for its strong alignment of the mission and school improvement plans. The AdvancEd Team noted, "Calhoun City Schools has a visionary Superintendent and School Board who are dedicated to increasing student achievement during difficult economic times."
Since her first year as Superintendent, Dr. Taylor has been challenged with the unprecedented loss of state education funding. The system has weathered the financial hardships of recent years and has emerged as a system which is now in a position to expand and build upon its outstanding programs. This is in large part due to the careful planning of Dr. Taylor and her team. In a year when many are increasing furlough days, cutting programs and staff, Calhoun City Schools is able and committed to provide the resources necessary to meet the needs of the students and has restored educator workdays. Continuing to do more with less, Calhoun City Schools had the fifth lowest per student expenditure last year which was well below the state average while student performance was well above the state average. "Although Dr. Taylor has responsibility for more functions than in larger districts, she embraces the challenges. She has built a strong leadership team, trained on how to maximize funding to support student learning. We give a lot of credit to Dr. Taylor and our system's leadership because they saw this (decline in funding) coming, they paid attention to some of the economic warnings which has left Calhoun City Schools in amazingly good financial condition compared to the rest of the state. Under Dr. Taylor's leadership, in spite of an uncertain economy, the system's financial balance sheet remains strong and continues to improve," Atkinson shared.
Over the past six years, Calhoun City Schools has earned record numbers of region and state championships in academics, arts and athletic competitions. All schools have earned Distinguished Title I Schools recognition, a National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Award, Governor's Platinum Awards, AP Honor and Merit School Awards and the system has had schools on the U.S. News and World Report's "Best Schools in the Nation" list. "We are extremely blessed to have incredible teachers, administrators and staff and an outstanding community who supports us every step of the way. This recognition represents the work that they do on behalf of our students," Taylor commented. "I am humbled and honored by the nomination. The seat of superintendent is not always easy but with the support of a committed Board of Education who are faithful in their service to our schools, we have been able to keep our focus on teaching and learning. I will continue to be a public school advocate and a committed Yellow Jacket."
Dr. Taylor is a fervent supporter of Calhoun City Schools and also a product, graduating from Calhoun High School in 1986. She was recognized by her peers as Teacher of the Year in 1996 and as Gordon County's Young Careerist of the Year by the Calhoun Business and Professional Women in 1997. She earned the Distinguished Kiwanis President Award in 2003 and an Educational Celebrity Award from Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement in 2004. "Dr. Taylor holds herself to the highest standard of all; no one works harder," continues Atkinson. "In addition to the normal work week, she spends countless mornings, nights and weekends supporting school events and talking with students and parents." She makes learning personal by getting to know the students by name and sending encouraging notes to recognize their achievements. Her energy and enthusiasm seems limitless and infectious. In 2012 she participated in the United Way / Gem Theatre fundraising campaign where she and her partner, former curriculum director Jim Lay helped raise more than $20,000 earning them the People's Choice Award. Taylor is known as a practical dreamer. She dreams big dreams, and then finds ways to make those dreams become a reality. This year she and her team proudly opened the doors to the new Calhoun High School building after a long and arduous campaign to secure funding and the state's approval to keep the high school in its existing location. Other superintendents might have given up on the dream to make a new high school happen but Dr. Taylor knew the students needed a safer school that was conducive to learning and she embraced the challenge. A carefully phased construction plan allowed students to remain in their older school buildings while construction took place. The new middle / high school complex will focus on college and career programs to prepare our future workforce and continue Calhoun City Schools' tradition of excellence.
Taylor's leadership style helps to shape an organizational culture where great things happen, creative ideas are embraced, and everyone moves forward together toward accomplishing the district's mission and vision. This year Calhoun City Schools launched a new COLA program which offers an online learning platform for students in grades 6-12. The Calhoun Online Learning Academy is just one of the innovative initiatives planned to advance the system's efforts to meet the needs of all learners. Students and teachers are utilizing advanced technology which is changing the way we do business in the schools. It's exciting to know that our students are ahead of the curve.
Superintendent Taylor continues to support the leadership teams' efforts to engage more Partners in Education and she is proud of the collaboration she has seen with School Governance Teams. Taylor is involved throughout the community volunteering her time and committing to life long learning. She served on the Gordon County Chamber Board of Directors, United Way Allocations Panel, Big Brothers / Big Sisters Board, Gordon Calhoun Arts Council and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa. She has served as President of Kiwanis Club and is a current member of the Calhoun Rotary Club. She presently serves as chairman of Leadership Calhoun / Gordon County's steering committee. Additionally, Dr. Taylor has supported professional organizations such as the Georgia School Superintendents' Association, recently serving on the nominating committee and she is a member of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders. Taylor was recently elected to the Professional Association of Georgia Educators' Foundation Board of Trustees and is a member of the National Superintendents' Network. She is also a part of Georgia's Visioning Project steering committee. In the coming year, she will chair Northwest Georgia RESA's Board of Control and is a member of the System Charter Foundation Board of Directors. She has also served as an Executive Board Member of Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement and the State School Superintendent's Advisory Council. She and her husband Joe have two children, Joseph and Anna who are both students at Calhoun Middle School.
We feel strongly that Dr. Taylor deserves the distinction of Georgia State Superintendent of the Year and we invite you to join us as we congratulate her on being named a finalist. If chosen as 2014 Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Michele Taylor would serve as an outstanding representative of the best of Georgia's leadership.
|Joseph (Jody) Barrow||GA||
Joseph (Jody) Barrow
Dr. Paul R. Gausman
Dr. Gausman is the superintendent of schools for the Sioux City Community School District in Sioux City, Iowa. In this position, he has direct oversight of the educational process for nearly 14,000 students and the work of over 1,900 staff members in 30 student attendance centers. During his continuing tenure in Sioux City, the District has experienced gains in academic achievement and graduation rate; the District high schools have implemented the largest 1:1 student computing initiative in the State of Iowa; the students and community have benefited from twelve school construction projects; and the educational team continues to deliver some of the most progressive programming in the nation to prevent bullying.
Dr. Gausman was formerly the Superintendent of Schools for the West Central School District in South Dakota, and his past administrative experiences also include those as Coordinator of Middle School Education and Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts for the 22,000-student district of the Sioux Falls Schools in South Dakota. Paul’s teaching experiences include those as Director of Bands and at Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska, and Marching Percussion Instructor for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cornhusker Marching Band.
In addition to his duties in Sioux City, Dr. Gausman serves as a Performing Artist/Clinician with the Yamaha Corporation of America in the area of percussion, and he is a consultant with the firms of McPherson and Jacobson Executive Recruitment and Development, and Guidepoint Global Market Research.
Paul holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, an Education Specialist degree from the University of Sioux Falls, a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is affiliated with over 20 professional organizations in public school administration, education, and the arts.
Superintendent Charles J. Shackett
Dr. Shackett has served in education for 32 years. He has experience as a special education teacher, coach, and high school principal. Chuck has also served as an adjunct instructor at the university and college levels. For the past 17 years, he has served as superintendent (five years in a small school district and the last 12 years in one of the largest school districts in the state of Idaho). Under Dr. Shackett's leadership, the Bonneville School District which is growing at nearly 500 students per year, has successfully passed nine of ten bond or levy elections. These have allowed the District to build six new elementary schools and complete numerous projects without raising the tax levy rate. But this is not Dr. Shackett's main focus. His emphasis is on creating a culture of collaboration throughout the educational community with a clear focus on learning and results. Instruction occurs in 24 locations in Bonneville School District. Eighty-four percent (84%) of these schools earned Idaho's top Star Ratings for Exemplary Schools last year. Dr. Shackett has served as President of the Idaho State Superintendents' Association, on the AASA Governing and Advisory Boards, on the Idaho Association of School Administrators Board of Directors, as well as on multiple civic and community oriented boards and committees.
|Joseph A. Kren||ID||
Joseph A. Kren
|Thomas Little, Jr.||IN||
Thomas Little, Jr.
Lawrence Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Doll
In July of 2009, Dr. Rick Doll became the sixth superintendent to lead Unified School District 497 in Lawrence.
A 37-year veteran educator and school administrator, Doll’s prior experience includes serving four years as superintendent of schools in Louisburg in Miami County, just south of the Kansas City metropolitan area. He previously served 12 years as superintendent in Rock Creek USD 323 (1993-2005), two years as an associate professor at Kansas State University (2002-04) and four years as assistant superintendent for instruction in McPherson USD 418 (1989-1993). Doll also served six years as principal of Wamego High School (1983-89), three years as principal of Herington High School (1980-83), one year as assistant principal of Herington High School (1979-80), and three years as a history and political science teacher at Herington High School (1976-79).
After receiving a bachelor’s of arts degree in history at McPherson College, Doll earned a master’s of science degree and an Ed.D. in educational administration at Kansas State University. The University Council for Educational Administration selected Doll for its Excellence in Educational Leadership Award in 2002. The Kansas Association of School Administrators nominated him as Kansas Superintendent of the Year in 2006, and again in 2008.
A member of United School Administrators, American Association of School Administrators and the Kansas School Superintendents Association Board of Directors, Doll has served on the Legislative Task Force on School Funding, as chairman of the McPherson College Board of Trustees and as chairman of the Interagency Council for Pottawatomie County.
Doll and his wife, Gayle, live in Lawrence. Dr. Gayle Doll is an assistant professor and director of Kansas State University’s Center on Aging. The Dolls have three young adult sons: Jake, Caleb and Jesse.
Nannette Johnston graduated from North Hardin High School. She is a Vine Grove, Kentucky native.
She attended Elizabethtown Community College before transferring to the University of Louisville to earn her undergraduate degree. Mrs. Johnston earned post-graduate degrees from Western Kentucky University.
Her career in education started as a teaching assistant at Parkway Elementary. Upon completion of her degree at U of L, she returned to Parkway Elementary as a Kindergarten teacher in a full inclusion Kindergarten/Special Education program. Mrs. Johnston then assisted in the implementation of the primary program at Vine Grove Elementary while serving as a primary teacher there. She became Director of Early Childhood Programs for Hardin County Schools, managing district preschool, kindergarten and infant toddler programs. While maintaining these duties in 2006, she was appointed Interim Superintendent by the Hardin County Schools Board of Education. In 2007, she earned a permanent appointment as superintendent.
Mrs. Johnston has earned the following honors: Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Award, Hardin County Schools Distinguished Alumni honoree, Elizabethtown Community College Distinguished Alumni honoree, Radcliff Chamber of Commerce Education Award, 2010 Kentucky Association of Pupil Transportation Superintendent of the Year and 2010 Kentucky Association of Educational Office Professionals Educational Administrator of the Year. Her role as Chair of the 2007 United Way Campaign led the fundraising effort to raise more than one million dollars. In addition, she was appointed to the Governor’s Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children Task Force and the Governor’s Transforming Education in Kentucky Task Force. She also represents superintendents on the Prichard Committee’s Strong Start Committee and was selected as a member of the training team for new superintendents in Kentucky. The Secretary of the United States Army tabbed her to serve on the JROTC Federal Subcommittee.
|Dr. James Evans, Jr.||KY||
Dr. James Evans, Jr.
On July 3, 2007, members of the St. James Parish School Board appointed Dr. Alonzo “Lonnie” Luce, Ph.D. as the school systems ninth superintendent. Dr. Luce returned to his native state to lead the district of 4,000 students and 13 learning sites, after a successful career in the education field as well as simultaneously excelling as an officer in the United States Army.
Dr. Luce was born in Hammond, Louisiana, and began his path of educational administration after graduating from St. Amant High school in neighboring Ascension Parish. Prior to enrolling into Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Dr. Luce enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard. Upon his return from military duties, Dr. Luce resumed his educational career by graduating Magna Cum Laude, receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, with a major in Social Studies and a minor in Mathematics. Dr. Luce received a Masters of Public Administration from Louisiana State University (LSU), in 1992 and also received a Specialist Certificate in Educational Administration in 1994. In 1999, Dr. Luce received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education Administration and Supervision.
He received his first instructional assignment by accepting the Social Studies and Computer Science teaching position at Istrouma High School and Technology Magnet (IHS) in Baton Rouge in August of 1992. Dr. Luce ascended to the position of Technology Magnet Coordinator and eventually the Assistant Principal of Instruction. It was during his years at the Baton Rouge school where, Dr. Luce became known for his expertise of implementing technology into instruction. He helped transition the high school into one of the state’s first technology magnet programs.
Dr. Luce’s successful tenure at IHS ended in 1998 when he became the Assistant Director and Technology Coordinator for Independent Studies at LSU. In that capacity, Dr. Luce coordinated and participated in the development and application of computer based technologies for independent study courses for college, high school and non-credit students. As a supervisor of staff members and student workers, Dr. Luce spearheaded the technology change that helped LSU sustain their ranking as one of the nation’s top ten Independent Study programs. He also helped develop and implement the process to change high school and university correspondence courses to Internet based courses.
Dr. Luce returned to the public school system setting as the Director of Technology for Livingston Parish School System (LPSS) from August 1999 to April of 2001. In the LPSS, Dr. Luce oversaw the district’s entire technology program, including implementing automated library and textbook systems for all schools, instructor training, and replacing the system’s networking infrastructure using a federal E-rate grant as the primary source of funding.
In April of 2001, Dr. Luce was named the Chief Information Officer of the New Orleans Public School System (NOPSS).
Dr. Luce departed the NOPSS, initially to accept the challenge as the Executive Director of Technology, a position he held for one year, before being promoted to Deputy Superintendent of the Greenville County Schools (GCS), of Greenville, SC. He was given the task of managing the staff that provided all aspects of instruction to the more than 67,000 students including supervising all assistant superintendents that evaluated principals, the student performance division, and the research and accountability department. During Dr. Luce’s tenure the GCS, also secured the Small Learning Communities Grant, funds that provided over three million dollars to the school system, for the 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 school years. While heading the district’s technology department he implemented intensive teacher training programs and technology initiatives such as the placement of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system in every classroom. He also implemented the electronic grade books for all teachers and e-mail and electronic home directories for all students in third grade and above.
Equally impressive has been Dr. Luce’s unwavering patriotism and extraordinary record as a member of the U.S. Army National Guard, where he now holds the distinctive rank of Colonel. From 1985 to 2004, Dr. Luce served his country in the 769th Engineer Battalion, where his responsibilities increased to becoming the operations officer responsible for all training and operations conducted for the battalion containing over 700 soldiers. Earlier Duties included commanding two different engineering companies. His company also won the Itshner Award – honoring the U.S. Army Reserve’s best engineer company. Dr. Luce was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Enduring Freedom from May of 2002 through January 2003. During his Tour of Duty, he was the Officer In Charge of engineer detachments in Kandahar, Afghanistan and awarded the Bronze Star.
From July 2004 to returning to La., Dr. Luce served in the 108th Division (Institutional Training) in North Carolina. Dr. Luce is serving in the Louisiana National Guard and took command of the 528th Engineering Battalion in Monroe in April, 2008. He now commands the 199th Leadership Regiment which includes the Officer Candidate School and the NCO Academy.
Dr. Luce is married to the former Cristine Bailey, of Lacombe, La. They have three daughter’s Kimberly, Lauren and Abby.
|William L. Folse, III||LA||
William L. Folse, III
|Dr. Mary Czajkowski||MA||
Mary A. Czajkowski assumed the position of Superintendent of Schools in Barnstable in August, 2011. Prior to coming to Barnstable, Dr. Czajkowski served as Superintendent of Schools in Agawam for nine years, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for four years, and Director of Curriculum for one and half years. Prior to entering the field of educational administration, Dr. Czajkowski taught high school science, math, and physical education for sixteen years. She also coached girl's field hockey, basketball and softball.
A lifelong learner, Mary Czajkowski received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and earned her Doctoral degree in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. Dr. Czajkowski has developed strong partnerships with parents, staff, and the community, focused on "putting children first."
At the state level, Dr. Czajkowski has served on the Educator Evaluation Task Force, the Educational Personnel Advisory Council and the Education Data Advisory Committee. At MASS, she continues to serve on the Professional Development Committee and serves as Chair for the Executive Leadership Forum Sub-Committee. Dr. Czajkowski is a member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and currently serves as president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. (MASS) During her career in education, she has been recognized for her efforts to improve education and has received numerous accolades including the Massachusetts School Library Media Association's (MSLMA) Administrator Advocate for Excellence Award in 2002, the Lifetime Member Award, American Intercultural Program, Agawam Chapter in 2003, Phi Delta Kappa, Membership Recognition in 2005, the Massachusetts School Counselor's Association's (MASCA) Superintendent of the Year Award in 2008, the national American School Counselor's Association's (ASCA) Advocate of the Year Award in 2010 and the Massachusetts School Superintendent's Association's Presidents Award in 2011.
Dr. Mary Czajkowski
Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell was named Chief Executive Officer of Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) in July 2013 by Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. He assumed his new role on August 1, and is contracted to serve as CEO until August 2017.
Dr. Maxwell returned to Prince George's County to serve the community he has lived in since second grade. A graduate of Bladensburg High School, he also began his career there as an educator. Starting in 1979, he served students for 22 years as a teacher, principal and administrator. While acting as Chief Educational Administrator and principal of Northwestern High School, his accomplishments included increasing Advanced Placement (AP) participation tend-fold and reconstituting one of six Twenty-First Century Schools that had not been meeting state achievement targets. He also secured funding for - and assisted in the design of - a technologically advanced high school built around the concept of smaller learning communities.
Throughout his career, Dr. Maxwell's work has focused on raising student achievement, increasing student participation in rigorous coursework and engaging state, county and local stakeholders. An active member of the community, he has assumed leadership roles in a wide variety of task forces, committees and organizations, serving as secretary and president of the Public School Superintendent's Association of Maryland (PSSAM), member of the Advisory Committee for Education for the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), co-chair of the Maryland Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel and member of the Montgomery County Gang Task Force.
Dr. Maxwell served as Superintendent for Anne Arundel County Public Schools from July 2006 through July 2013. In this role, he was responsible for the oversight of all aspects of operating, staffing and evaluating the forty-seventh largest school district in the United States. An avid advocate for the arts, he was honored in 2010 as Arts Education Advocate of the Year by the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS) for his efforts to enhance arts education programs in Anne Arundel County, which included the opening of the county's first Performing and Visual Arts magnet school at Bates Middle School. Prior to his appointment as superintendent in Anne Arundel county, he served as a Community Superintendent and principal for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Dr. Maxwell has been named Maryland Superintendent of the Year for 2014 by the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM). As the 2014 Maryland Superintendent of the Year, he will represent the state in the National Superintendent of the Year program, which was established by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to pay tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.
Dr. Maxwell earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He received a Master of Science Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). In 2008, he was named Alumnus of the Year in Humanities by UMBC for having brought "distinction to UMBC through both personal and professional accomplishments."
Dr. Maxwell lives with his wife Nancy in Bowie, Maryland, and he has three daughters and one son who are all graduates of Maryland public schools. His hobbies include reading, traveling and collecting tropical fish.
|Daniel (Dan) Curry||MD||
Daniel (Dan) Curry
Brian J. Whiston, Superintendent, Dearborn Public Schools
Since his 2008 arrival in Dearborn, Superintendent Mr. Brian Whiston has embarked on a mission to raise student achievement and ensure the success of all 19,000 students attending the Dearborn Public Schools.
The plan started by adopting the Balanced Leadership model, an approach to management that provides system-wide standards while at the same time allowing teachers the flexibility to deliver instruction that meets individual students’ needs.
Collaboration is a key element in Whiston’s plan. He has fostered a strong working relationship with the leadership of all union groups in the district. This relationship has been extremely effective in developing a staff evaluation process that has the buy-in from all stake-holders. It was also instrumental in settling contracts that saved jobs and reduced expenses. Under the Superintendent’s direction, more schools now include a co-teaching model placing Special Education and General Education teachers together in one classroom. The “3-D” Committee brings together the Special Education, Bilingual, and General Education Departments to share best practices and identify and address areas of concern before they become critical.
In the elementary grades, math, reading, and writing are the primary focus in the effort to raise student achievement. Mr. Whiston has been able to effectively work with his management team and union leadership to protect class size in the elementary grades with district averages remaining below 25 students per class. One of the tools being used throughout the district is the Daily 5 and CAFÉ reading strategy. Daily 5/CAFÉ allows time each day for students to read and practice strategies that increase Comprehension, Accuracy, and Fluency while Expanding their vocabularies (CAFÉ). Mr. Whiston gave his full support for the addition of Elementary Interventionists who aid in the efforts to ensure all students are reading at grade level. Being proactive and implementing an All-Day Kindergarten program before a state mandate, the Superintendent was able to ease parental concerns about long days while at the same time provide more instructional time to the district’s most academically at risk students.
Schools continue their work to provide an environment for students in grades six through twelve that will keep pace with technology, prepare them for a post-secondary education or training, and meet the requirements of a state defined curriculum. In Dearborn, Superintendent Whiston has worked to offer students a variety of options at the secondary level that break down the barriers of a typical high school classroom including:
• A wide variety of AP and Dual Enrollment classes
• A S.T.E.M based magnet program for high achieving high school students
• An Early College program offering degree or certification in the medical field
• Online courses
• A Magnet High School for students who are falling behind
• A high school program that offers real life experience in culinary arts and hospitality
This year the state of Michigan approved a plan that Mr. Whiston has been working on since his arrival in Dearborn. Starting in 2013, a program at each of Dearborn’s three high schools will offer students the opportunity to graduate in five years with a high school diploma and an associate degree with all costs covered by the district.
Mr. Whiston’s involvement in education started long before his time in Dearborn. During his ten years as Director of Government & Community Services for the Oakland County ISD, Mr. Whiston consistently demonstrated his ability to work with state government to bring financial resources to schools, lead his department to improved student achievement, and help make all schools in the county successful. He has also served as a school board member for seventeen years and held the position of President of the Michigan Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).
In 2007, while working on behalf of public school districts in Oakland County, Mr. Whiston was named a Top Ten Lobbyist of the Year. He was also awarded the Gold Child Advocate award and named Michigan PTA Board Member of the Year and is an honorary life member of the Michigan PTSA.
Mr. Whiston has also taught classes at Wayne State University and for the Michigan Association of School Boards. He serves on several boards and is a member of several community organizations.
|Yvonne Caamal Canul||MI||
Yvonne Caamal Canul
The Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) has named Dr. Kate Maguire, Superintendent of Osseo Area Schools, the 2014 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year.
Superintendent Maguire was selected for the honor by a panel of representatives from a variety of Minnesota education organizations. Nominees are evaluated on how each demonstrates leadership for learning; communication skills; professionalism; and community involvement.
As the Minnesota honoree, Superintendent Maguire is a candidate among other state winners for National Superintendent of the Year, to be announced in February 2014.
Dr. Maguire is the second Osseo Area Schools superintendent to receive the Minnesota Superintendent of the Year award, following Dr. Marl Ramsey in 1993. She said, “I’m honored to represent Minnesota’s outstanding superintendents, many of whom are colleagues and mentors. This award recognizes the progressive, difficult and exciting work occurring in Osseo Area Schools. The improved results we are getting don’t happen without strong administrative and teacher leadership, dedicated staff, a supportive community and excellent school board leadership.”
Superintendent Maguire is a fierce advocate for public education who has contributed that passion through service to the students, staff and community of ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools for nearly 30 years. She served in a variety of positions in District 279, including teacher, principal, director of human resources, director of curriculum, and assistant superintendent prior to being named superintendent in 2010.
After graduating from the College of St. Benedict, Dr. Maguire went on to earn a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of St. Thomas, where she serves on the Education Licensure Advisory Board.
Dr. Maguire believes that public education plays a paramount role in preserving the foundation of our nation’s democracy. She contends that unless government leaders and citizens are willing to make necessary investments in public education, democracy could be in jeopardy.
A longtime District 279 resident who is deeply invested in the community, she is well regarded for developing genuine, caring connections with students, families, employees, and residents. She is focused on doing whatever it takes to increase equitable student achievement and to prepare students for successful and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Maguire believes she can play a key role in encouraging other women to pursue the superintendency. “I’m humbled to follow in the path of the three women (Kay Worner, Carol Johnson, Patty Phillips) who have been selected since 1988 as Minnesota Superintendent of the Year. Only 15% of Minnesota superintendents are women, and I want to encourage other women to pursue the chief executive role in public education systems.”
About Minnesota Association of School Administrators
MASA is a professional organization whose mission is to establish the statewide agenda for children, serve as the preeminent voice for public education, and empower members through quality services and support. MASA members are school superintendents, directors of special education, curriculum leaders, other central office school administrators, regional administrators, and higher education administrators/professors from throughout Minnesota.
About ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools
ISD 279 is the fifth-largest school system in Minnesota and serves all or parts of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo, Plymouth, and Rogers. Students learn at 17 elementary schools, four junior highs, three senior highs, an area learning center, two early childhood centers, and an adult education center.
MISSION: Our mission is to inspire and prepare all students with the confidence, courage and competence to achieve their dreams; contribute to community; and engage in a lifetime of learning.
CORE VALUES: We believe that lifelong learning is essential for the individual and community to thrive; everyone has equal intrinsic value; trust is essential to sustaining successful relationships and to achieving results; better decisions emerge when diverse perspectives are intentionally included in a collaborative process; everyone benefits when cultural differences and acknowledged and understood, and individuals are treated respectfully and equitably; and everyone can learn more.
Learn more about Osseo Area Schools at www.district279.org.
Dr. David McGehee has been employed by the Lee’s Summit R-VII School District as Superintendent of Schools since July 2006. He previously served as Superintendent of the Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District and the Sparta R-III School District.
Under McGehee’s leadership, the Lee’s Summit School District continues to be well-respected within the Kansas City area and region for the high level of achievement of its students and the progressive nature of its educational programs. The district has earned Missouri’s Distinction in Performance award all 12 years that it has been offered with a perfect score each year. The district has made a switch from addressing the needs of all students to addressing the needs of each student. The commitment of the district has forced the district to focus on individual students rather than underperforming groups of students.
McGehee has played a critical role in the development of the Missouri Innovation Campus. According to University of Central Missouri President, Dr. Charles Ambrose, “Without McGehee’s vision and ability to form collaborative partnerships in the most critical times, the potential to deliver a program promising to lower the cost of a college degree; eliminate the skills gap of graduates; accelerate the time required to a degree; and most importantly, eliminate the use of student loan debt as a way to pay for college, would be non-existent, or at best been very limited.”
The Lee’s Summit School District is also the largest district in the nation to transition its school buses from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas. The overall savings is allowing the district to redirect funds from transportation costs to technology improvements in the classroom.
McGehee has been elected by his peers to serve on the AASA Governing Board. He received the Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award from eSchool News in 2011. He is highly involved in the community, serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and City of Lee’s Summit strategic planning group. He has developed a working relationship with business leaders, elected officials, city and county administrators. He writes a regular superintendent’s newspaper column, writes his own blog and recently began using his own Twitter account to communicate district news.
|Dr. Scott Spurgeon||MO||
Dr. Scott Spurgeon
Following ten years of service in the classroom as a teacher and a coach, Dr. Benigno began his journey in educational leadership with an Assistant Superintendent position in Bay-Waveland, Mississippi. A passionate educator with a commitment to moving the children of Mississippi forward, Dr. Benigno’s experience has led him to service in various roles across both the K-12 arena as well as the post-secondary where he served as Vice-President for Student Services at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. His successful professional career and experiences have guided him to the current position he holds as the Superintendent of the Laurel School District, with a student body of over three thousand.
Benigno received a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Administration and Science Education (May 1985), a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration (August 1994) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership (December 2005), all from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Dr. Benigno is active in many education-related, civic, and community groups that help to strengthen his skills and knowledge for the sake of his students and community. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in professional organizations including the Board of Directors for The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, the Southern Regional Education Service Agency and President of the Pine Belt Area Principals Association.
Now serving in his fourth year as Superintendent of the Laurel School District, Dr.Benigno has served as an advocate for the children of his district and the state of Mississippi. He has been recognized on numerous occasions for his compassion and steadfast leadership. Dr. Benigno has led a major reworking of the district’s strategic vision. This effort has had significant community and staff involvement that led to a renewed endeavor to improve student achievement. In 2010, the Laurel Schools received a QDI of 111 compared to the Mississippi QDI of 154. After just three years, the district has jumped 36 points to a 147 QDI. During this same time frame, Mississippi gained 14 QDI points. A closer look at the data shows that the Laurel Schools reduced the number of students scoring minimal on the state tests by 50 percent (28 to 14%) and increased the number of students scoring proficient or advanced by 47 percent (36 to 53%). This “closing of the gap” can be attributed to several factors. However, the most important strategy was the implementation of a “Snapshot Testing” program to evaluate student progress.
Dr. Benigno’s bold new mantra for district achievement results has been to, “Expect Greatness!” by redirecting energies and coordinating efforts. The staff has embraced this mentality by raising the level of academic rigor expected of the children and by using data to drive instruction. A huge part of their success comes from the idea that the district expects to be great, and they make no excuses for the legitimate challenges the students face. His philosophy is, “Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime” when it comes to talking about the Laurel Schools and this open door policy has created an enormous amount of trust, allowing him to connect with a diverse cross-section of the community.
It has been said of Dr. Benigno, “He has a 24/7 mindset when it comes to generating new ideas or making needed changes in the best interest of students and staff.” The end result is an excited and motivated staff who treat children with dignity and respect. The author of Teaching: Excellence or Survival?, Benigno has conducted professional development workshops for teachers and administrators at over 90 schools across Mississippi, and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in education.
|H. Gearl Loden||MS||
H. Gearl Loden
A native of Iredell County and product of the Iredell-Statesville Schools, Brady Johnson has spent his entire career in the school system, where he was appointed superintendent in 2009. Iredell-Statesville School System ranks among the 20 largest school districts with more than 20,000 students. Mr. Johnson has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and deputy superintendent. As deputy superintendent, Mr. Brady Johnson led the continuous improvement effort with the operations department leading to such successes as an increase in energy efficiency and savings, a decrease in overtime, a decrease in bus disciplines, and a decrease in the district’s out-of-school suspension rate. Today Mr. Johnson continues to lead Iredell-Statesville Schools toward its vision of igniting a passion for learning.
Steve Hall is currently superintendent of the Kindred Public School District in Kindred, ND. He started as Superintendent in 2002 and is currently in his 12th year as Superintendent at Kindred. He is a member of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders (NDCEL), the North Dakota Association of School Administrators (NDASA), and AASA. He served as SE NDASA Region Director from 2006-2008. He was selected SE Superintendent of The Year in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2013-14. He is currently serving his fourth year as a North Dakota representative on the AASA Governing Board.
Steve is a native of Berthold, ND and graduated from Berthold High School in 1980.
After high school he attended Dickinson State University and in 1985, received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with a minor in Computer Science. He began his teaching career at Tioga Public School District.. At Tioga, he taught mathematics and computer science for five years.
In 1990 Steve went on to graduate school at North Dakota State University where he earned his Master of Education degree in Educational Administration.
In the fall of 1991 he became high school principal at Kindred High School and remained principal for eleven years. While high school principal he was a member of NDCEL, NDASSP and NASSP. Steve served as SE Region NDASSP Director from 1995-97 and served as State President of NDASSP in 1999-2000.
Steve is currently serving his third year on the North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors and is Vice-President of the Board.
Steve is married to Pam, who works as the Technology Integration Coordinator for the West Fargo Public Schools.. They live in Kindred, ND and have four children, Eric, Matthew, Rachel, and Michael.
|Stephen (Steve) Baker||NE||
ELKHORN SUPERINTENDENT STEPHEN BAKER NAMED NEBRASKA SUPERINDENTENT OF THE YEAR
Respected Leader Praised as Model Superintendent by Peers
The Nebraska chapter of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) recently honored Stephen Baker with its Superintendent of the Year award. Baker, who has been superintendent of the Elkhorn Public Schools since 2009, has led the district in a period of rapid growth.
Baker has spent 38 years working in the Elkhorn Public Schools, first as Director of Bands, then as an Assistant High School Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, and assuming the role of Superintendent in 2009. In the time he has been superintendent, the district has opened five new schools and seen an increase in enrollment of over 1,500 students.
Outgoing Commissioner of Education Roger Breed, who preceded Baker as Elkhorn’s Superintendent, praised Baker’s aptitude in the logistics of running a school district. “Steve has worked tirelessly with his community, board members, and teachers to plan strategically,” in the face of growth, Breed said.
“He’s a superintendent’s superintendent,” said Gretna Superintendent Kevin Riley.
Dr. Michael Dulaney, Executive Director of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA), praised Baker’s service as a member of NCSA and his commitment to excellence in school leadership. “We’re extremely fortunate to have Steve’s expertise in our ranks,” Dulaney said.
Stephen (Steve) Baker
|Carl M. Ladd||NH||
The New Hampshire School Administrators Association, in coordination with the American Association of School Administrators, has announced that Dr. Carl M. Ladd is the New Hampshire Superintendent of the Year for 2013- 14. Dr. Ladd, who is Superintendent of Schools in SAU #58 (Northumberland, Stark and Stratford School Districts), will receive a special award during the National Conference on Education in Nashville Tennessee, in February 2014.
Dr. Ladd was selected for this honor by a panel of his peers and from a distinguished group of nominees. Janet Strauss, the New England Coordinator for the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) offered this praise with respect to Dr. Ladd, “Dr. Ladd is deeply committed to strengthening the academic success of his students and understands that a key to moving his SAU forward is strengthening the skills and capacities of his leaders. Carl is committed to intellectual growth and professional improvement. Carl is truly an exceptional person. His work ethic, humility and integrity are beyond reproach.”
SAU #58 Board Chair, David Auger said, “Essential to a successful education is the establishment of fundamental goals for each district and the SAU each year. Dr. Ladd provides such leadership in the creation of realistic goals, approved by the board at the beginning of each school year. Such goals are buildable in subsequent years providing a consistent way forward for educational progress across the SAU. These goals become a common focus for all administration and teacher efforts.”
Dr. Ladd began his educational career training at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, V.T., where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1996. A succession of advanced degrees came after that, including a M.Ed. from the Vermont College of Norwich University in 2002, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Plymouth State University in 2005 and a Doctorate of Education from Argosy University at Sarasota in 2010.
2014 SOY RELEASE 2-2-2-2-2
His school administration career began in 2000 as an assistant principal at the Lancaster School in SAU #36. In 2002 he became the interim principal/superintendent for SAU #77 in Monroe, New Hampshire. Dr. Ladd went on to become principal at Groveton Elementary School in 2003, and in 2007, he moved on to the role of Superintendent of Schools in Groveton, a role he remains in today. Dr. Ladd currently resides in Groveton with his wife, Michele, a 6th grade teacher at the Lancaster School.
The educational community has recognized Dr. Ladd for his dedication and performance. Dr. Mark V. Joyce, Executive Director of NHSAA, noted, “Dr. Ladd is a wonderful role model of the many school superintendents in New Hampshire who work everyday in support of public education. Carl is a real “Champion for Children.”
Carl M. Ladd
|Dr. James C. Morse, Sr.||NH||
Dr. James C. Morse, Sr.
Philip J. Guenther, Ed.D. has been a lifelong Atlantic County resident. He graduated from Holy Spirit High School and continued his education earning a B.A. at Glassboro State College (Rowan University), an M.S. in Administration at Central Michigan University, and an Ed.D. at Seton Hall University in Educational Administration.
Dr. Guenther has been involved in public education for three decades. Joining the teaching staff at Atlantic City High School in 1981, he taught both English and Social Studies and coached multiple sports. Later, he was promoted to the position of vice principal. In 1994, he was named assistant principal of the Atlantic County Vocational School and promoted to principal in 1997. He presently serves as superintendent of Atlantic County Vocational School District, a position he has held since 2004.
During Dr. Guenther’s tenure at the Atlantic County Vocational School District, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT) has undergone a $40 million expansion and renovation project which has transformed the school into a comprehensive career and technical high school with an enrollment of approximately 1200 students. The success of the academic and career and technical programs at ACIT has been recognized with a National Blue Ribbon designation in 2008 and by US News & World Report “America’s Best High Schools’ edition as a Bronze Level School.
From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Guenther served as president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational Schools which is an association of superintendents and school board members representing the state's 21 county vocational school districts.
Throughout his professional career, Dr. Guenther has been actively involved in his community. He began his career in public service as a member of the Brigantine Board of Education in 1989, and he was elected to the Brigantine City Council in 1990. In 1993, he was elected to his first term as mayor, and he continues to serve in that position today.
Dr. Guenther is also actively involved in projects that benefit all Atlantic County residents through his service as a member and past president of the Atlantic County Mayors Association. He also serves on the Atlantic County Workforce Investment Board, Youth Services Commission, and Youth Investment Council.
Dr. Guenther lives with his wife of 31years, Lee Ann, and they are the proud parents of a daughter, Julia, who is a student at Stanford University.
|Michael Salvatore, Ph.D.||NJ||
Michael Salvatore, Ph.D.
Dr. Clark Godshall is the District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES located in Western New York responsible for the educational services for over 38,000 students. In this capacity, he serves as the New York State Commissioner of Education’s local representative. He has been an educator for the past 35 years, 30 years as an administrator.
A former high school science teacher, he instructed biology, chemistry and earth science in the Hilton Central School District and started his administrative career as the assistant superintendent for the Penn Yan Central School District in Central New York. He served from 1989-2000 as the assistant superintendent of administration for the Orleans/Niagara BOCES which is the 13th largest BOCES in New York State.
He has instructed as an adjunct professor for the educational administration program at SUNY Brockport and as a clinical professor of doctoral candidates at the University of Rochester.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from St. John Fisher College, master and doctorate degrees from the University of Rochester and a certificate in labor relations from the Cornell University Industrial Labor Relations School.
Dr. Godshall has been an active and involved member of the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) at the local, state, and international levels. He is a past-president of New York State ASBO and past-president of the Finger Lakes, Western, and BOCES chapters.
He is a six-time recipient of American School and University Management Effectiveness Awards and the recipient of the 1998 New York State ASBO Outstanding Service Award; 1996 Women in Administration Leadership Award; 2000 PDK Leadership Award and 2007 Niagara University Administrator of the Year award. He is a 1992 recipient of an ASBO International Eagle Service Award and is a frequent author and presenter on educational management/governance topics.
He was the first New Yorker in 32 years to be elected as President of the Association of School Business Officials International in 2002. In 2009, he served as the President of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and nationally on the AASA Governing and Executive Board. He is a board member of the National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT) and the chairperson of the Genesee Community College Advisory Board for Albion and Medina campuses. In 2014, he will be a candidate for the vice-presidency of AASA.
Dr. Godshall was appointed by the Commissioner of Education and served as interim District Superintendent consultant to the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES; Genesee Valley BOCES; Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES and the Cattaraugus Allegany BOCES. He has completed over 50 chief school officer searches, multiple association executive director searches, and often leads expert teams into less than successful schools to conduct School Under Registration Reviews (SURR).
During his free time, Dr. Godshall is an officer with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadron in which he has been recognized for his humanitarian efforts while holding various leadership positions. Clark is a qualified sea captain and a third generation Kentucky Colonel. He is an award winning antique car restorer, pen/coin/watch collector, and treasure hunter. He has been cited as a staunch advocate of the arts including local theatrical productions; the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonic and Shea’s performing theater.
Dr. Godshall and his wife Dr. Barbara Godshall (Director of Special Programs—Lewiston-Porter Central School District) reside in Barker, New York.
Dr. Daniel J. Keenan is a visionary and passionate leader committed to preparing our students to be internationally competitive, engaged and experienced. Dan has been the Superintendent of the Westlake City Schools for seven years. Under Dr. Keenan’s leadership, the district has worked to maximize resources from northeast Ohio to provide exceptional learning experiences for students. Dan ensured the collaborative involvement of the Cleveland Clinic, Energizer, Hyland Software, Cleveland State University, Baldwin-Wallace University, and Lorain County Community College with community stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to provide exceptional learning opportunities for students in Westlake. Under this plan, World Language was expanded to the elementary school level. Middle school students have traveled on service trips to Africa and Costa Rica; a teacher exchange was developed with Tralee, Ireland, and a service and reflection component was added to high school graduation requirements. In 2013, Westlake was the lone Ohio school to be awarded two National Blue Ribbon Schools for Bassett and Hilliard Elementary. The district was awarded Ohio’s $100,000 Innovation Grant for using a shared services model to initiate the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at Westlake High School. Westlake’s Lee Burneson Middle School is one of Ohio’s eight STEM Programs of Excellence. Dan received his Master’s in Education Administration with an emphasis on Gifted Education from Purdue University in 1993. After being awarded AASA’s Paul B. Salmon Scholarship, he earned his Ph.D. from Cleveland State University in Urban Educational Administration in 2005. Cleveland State recognized Dr. Keenan as a Distinguished Alum in 2013 for his contributions to students in Westlake and the Greater Cleveland area.
Superintendent, David Douglas School District
Don Grotting began serving as David Douglas Superintendent July 1, 2010, becoming the 6th superintendent since the District’s founding in 1959.
David Douglas is an urban school district in East Portland with an enrollment of about 10,700 students in nine elementary schools, three middle schools, the state’s largest high school, and two alternative schools. The District also provides early intervention services to children birth to age 5 to all of Multnomah County.
Under Mr. Grotting’s leadership, David Douglas has produced Oregon’s District Office Administrator of the Year, Oregon’s Curriculum Department of the Year, as well as Oregon’s Middle and Elementary principals of the year.
A past President of the Oregon Schools Athletic Association, Mr. Grotting continues to serve on its Executive Board. He also serves on the All Hands Raised Partnership Council, Chalkboard Advisory Council, Portland Metro Educational Partnership Leadership Council and Chairs the East Portland Action Plan Education Subcommittee. He also sat on the Oregon Full Day Kindergarten Implementation Committee.
Prior to coming to David Douglas, Mr. Grotting served as Superintendent of the Nyssa School District in Eastern Oregon from 2000 to 2010, and was credited with transforming that District into a statewide model for student achievement and closing the achievement gap.
In 2005, Nyssa became the first school district in Oregon presented with the Closing the Achievement Gap Award by the Oregon Department of Education. Mr. Grotting was named the Nyssa Educator of the Year in 2006.
Growing up in Coquille, Oregon, Mr. Grotting joined the U.S. Army after high school, and when he returned home worked as a carpenter for Georgia Pacific in his hometown. When Southwest Oregon mills began closing in the late 1980s, Mr. Grotting returned to school, earning his education degree in 1993 from Linfield College, where he graduated magna cum laude.
He began his education career teaching at Powers Elementary School in Southwest Oregon from 1994-96. While continuing his own studies, Mr. Grotting was named Superintendent of Powers School District in 1996, also serving as Principal of Powers’ elementary, middle and high schools, before leaving for Nyssa in 2000.
He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Policy, Foundations and Administration from Portland State University in 1996, and an Administrative License from Portland State University two years later. Mr. Grotting attained his Superintendent’s License in 2001 from Lewis and Clark College.
Michael S. Barnes Biography
Michael Barnes has served as Superintendent of the Foster-Glocester Regional School District since October 2008. As superintendent, he has focused on standards-based education, developed effective instructional practices, created a 7-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy, redesigned schools and programs to support teaching and learning and uses data to inform decisions. He prepared fiscally responsible budgets with 0% increases, as well as two budgets with decreases that expanded services for students and absorbed cuts in state aid. Since becoming superintendent, the district’s state assessment scores increased 12% in reading, 21% in writing, 18% in mathematics, and 16% in science and students are developing 21st Century Skills. His contributions to the profession include: serving as a board member for the RI Superintendents Association, Rhode Island ASCD, the Rhode Island Center for School Leadership, and the New England Secondary School Consortium, which involves six states working on high school reform and the use of exhibitions, portfolios, and proficiency-based exams. Dr. Barnes also served on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission for six years and the NEASC 2011 Standards Writing Committee.
As Assistant Superintendent in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District, Dr. Barnes coordinated the efforts of the elementary schools, created K-6 curriculum in ELA and Math aligned to state standards, implemented grade level meetings, and piloted and implemented a new reading series, a new math series, and a writing program. As a Fellow at the RI Department of Education, he assisted the RI Board of Regents as they developed new Regulations for Rhode Island’s high schools that focus on literacy, graduation by proficiency, and personalization. He and provided technical assistance to schools and districts as they implement these regulations. He has provided in-depth, multi-day day professional development to thousands of teachers and administrators at the school, district, state, and regional levels.
In 2012, Dr. Barnes received the Joan M. Scorpio Award from the Glocester Business Association. This award is given annually to an individual to recognize them for their contribution to the community.
In addition, Dr. Barnes has been recognized as a Milken National Educator, Technology Teacher of the Year, and traveled to Japan and China on study tours of the educational systems. He has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut with concentrations in educational leadership and gifted and talented education. Michel Barnes can be reached at 401-710-7568 or email@example.com.
To: Outstanding Superintendent Selection Committee
From: Al Leber
Re: Requested Personal Information
Biographical Sketch – I was the first member of my family to graduate from college, and began my teaching career at St. Albert Catholic High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1968. After my first year of teaching, I was drafted in the Army, and spent 15 months in Korea, where I met my future wife. In 1971, I returned to St. Albert Catholic High School to continue my teaching career, and during that year, I married my wife (Kyong A. Han). We have been married for 41 years, and we have four children. Early in my educational career, I was asked to chair a search committee for a new high school principal. This sparked my interest in leadership, so I embarked on my graduate studies in Secondary Administration. When I was asked to assume the position of Assistant High School Principal at St. Albert, it affirmed my belief that I could make a difference in the administrative field. Consequently, I spent 23 years as a high school administrator in Iowa and South Dakota. In the spring of 1987, while I was a high school principal, the school board dismissed the Superintendent, and appointed me to serve as Interim Superintendent until a new superintendent could be hired. I served from May through October of that year, and this sparked a desire to lead a school district, so I returned to the graduate school to complete the required classes for the Superintendent certification. I was completing my 8th years as the high school principal in Vermillion, when several school board members from the St. Albert catholic School System asked me to return to Council Bluffs to become the President (superintendent) of their school system. I accepted the position; however during the spring of my first year as President the position of Superintendent of the Dakota Valley School District came open. I missed working in South Dakota, and knowing that this was a new and growing school district, I applied for this position and was hired in 1999.
Philosophy of Education – When I came to South Dakota, I was privileged to be a part of the state’s “Modernization Project”. From this experience, I became a true believer that all students can learn; some just need more time. During my tenure as the High School principal in Vermillion, we became the first high school in South Dakota to initiate “block scheduling” and maintained a grading scale that did not accept “failures”, as students were awarded “incompletes” until they had completely mastered the coursework. I also initiated flexible scheduling for teachers, as five teachers began “early bird” classes at 7:30 am. While in Iowa, I allowed teachers to conduct “weekend classes” for students.
I have always been a believer that educators should be “helpers”. As I teacher, I helped students with their academic progression; as a principal, I helped teachers become better teachers for the benefit of students; and as a superintendent, I believe we help our administrators and teachers become better professional educators.
I believe in open communication, and welcome students, parents, administrators and board members to openly discuss any situation that may be of interest or concern. I do not rush to judgment, and will listen to all sides of an issue before trying to reach consensus. I encourage participation in school decisions by inviting community members to be a part of the Dakota Valley Finance Committee, Policy Committee, Wellness Committee, Facilities Committee and Library/Technology Committee.
Dale P. Lynch, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Hamblen County School System
2013-14 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year
Since 2001, Dale Lynch has led the rural school district, Hamblen County, located near the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Serving as Tennessee’s 2013 president of the superintendent’s organization, he joined other Tennessee leaders in a bold initiative to insure all high school graduates are college and career ready.
Although Tennessee’s goal of becoming the fastest improving state for academic achievement is gaining momentum, this lofty expectation can only be recognized if each local school district makes it their mission. Each district has their own unique challenges. One challenge Hamblen County faces is a dramatic shift in demographic composition. The district has most notably seen an increase in the number of students eligible for free and reduced meals, growing from 40% to almost 70% and the number of Hispanic students growing from 4% to 18%. A majority of these Hispanic students are served as English Language Learners (ELL). Currently one out of eight district students is an ELL student. This ranked the district seventh in Tennessee in ELL count and second in percentage of ELL students within the state. Closing the achievement gap in these subgroups has been a decade’s journey.
Despite these challenges, the district under Dr. Lynch’s leadership was recognized as Tennessee’s (SCORE-State Collaborative on Reforming Education) district of the year, earned three National Blue Ribbon distinctions from the US Department of Education, received recognition by the College Board as an AP Honor District, and has been selected as Tennessee’s School Board of the Year for 2013. Dr. Lynch recently shared the Tennessee and Hamblen County success story by being featured in the American School Board Journal, Education Week, and presenting at the National School Boards Association conference on the topic of, “Challenges Facing Rural Districts.”
Leading educational initiatives in rural Tennessee is not easy and Dr. Lynch takes great pride in partnering with other school system leaders to provide opportunities for all students. Rural education in the south has challenges far beyond shrinking budgets. A major challenge for the Hamblen County school system is having enough highly trained and certificated staff in certain areas. Through a partnership with other school districts (Investing In Innovation, I-3 grant) they are able to leverage human capital to give students opportunities beyond the local district. Students can participate in Latin, Physics, and other classes where the teacher is in another district or university setting through video conferencing, on-line courses, and dual credit. Programs such as German are available to students hundreds of miles away. Collaborative work with other schools, is giving students opportunities that transcend challenges that face rural school districts even during struggling economic times. Shrinking budgets and stagnant economies have not slowed the progress in Hamblen County.
Dr. Lynch has been recognized nationally for visionary leadership in the area of technology. He was recently selected by eSchool News as a national recipient of their Tech-Savvy award, in addition to the distinguished honor from the National School Boards Association as one of the “20 to Watch” educational leaders.
Terry B. Grier, Ed.D., became the Houston Independent School District’s superintendent of schools after a unanimous vote of approval by the district’s Board of Education in September 2009. Since that time, the Board of Education has extended his contract through June 2016.
Before coming to Houston, Dr. Grier served as the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District for 18 months and superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina for almost eight years.
Under his watch, HISD’s dropout rate has decreased to its all-time low (11.8 percent) and its graduation rate has increased to its all-time high (78.5 percent). Scholarship dollars offered to HISD seniors have increased from $51 million to $180 million. And, the number of students scoring three or higher on Advanced Placement exams increased by 45 percent—from 4,915 to 7,106.
Dr. Grier is widely recognized for his leadership in turning around failing schools. The district’s Apollo 20 program has received state and national recognition. He is committed to placing an effective teacher in every HISD classroom and an exemplary principal in every school. HISD’s teacher and principal evaluation models contain indicators of student success.
In 2012, HISD was one of four school districts in America to be named a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize in Education. HISD received high marks for its progress in decreasing the achievement gap. In November 2012, HISD citizens approved a $1.89 billion school construction bond—the largest in the history of Texas—by an amazing 69 percent margin. These funds will be used to rebuild 28 of the district’s high schools, making HISD the only major school district in the country with all high-school buildings being rebuilt since 2000.
Dr. Grier has received numerous awards in recognition of his accomplished leadership, including the North Carolina Association of School Administrators and the North Carolina School Boards Association’s 2008 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year Award, and the American Association of School Administrators’ prestigious Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award for his support of women and minorities in education. He has received “Outstanding Alumni” awards from East Carolina University, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees, and from Vanderbilt University, where he received his Educational Doctorate.
DATE: September 9, 2013
Contact: Dr. Patti Harrington, Executive Director, Utah School Superintendents Association, firstname.lastname@example.org 801-913-7566
The Utah School Superintendents Association (USSA) is pleased to announce the 2014 Utah School Superintendent of the Year. Terry E. Shoemaker, Superintendent of Wasatch County School District, will be named the recipient of the award at a brief ceremony at the opening of the USSA meeting on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Utah School Boards Association Building at 860 E. 9085 South in Sandy, Utah (east of 700 East on 90th South). Press members are welcome to attend the ceremony.
Supt. Shoemaker has been a public educator since 1979, serving students in three school districts in Utah; Jordan, Provo, and Wasatch County. He has been a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, principal, personnel director, and was appointed by the Wasatch County Board of Education to be the Superintendent of Wasatch County School District in 2001.
Wasatch District has most recently adopted a 1:1 technology device initiative with all students in grades 5-8 receiving a laptop computer for use in school and for homework. The “Digital Conversion” initiative will include students in all grades by 2016. “As important as the access to computers is, the excellent digital curriculum and the job embedded professional development in digital friendly classrooms are critical to the success of Wasatch educators and students,” Dr. Patti Harrington, Executive Director of the USSA, said of her colleague’s work. “This initiative is typical of the innovation that Terry has always advanced in his career,” she noted.
Superintendent Shoemaker received Bachelor's and Master's Degrees and Administrative Endorsement from Brigham Young University. He is a member of the Governing Board for the BYU/Public School Partnership that includes BYU, Wasatch, Jordan, Nebo, Provo, and Alpine School Districts.
Governor Huntsman also appointed him to serve on the Board of Trustees for Utah Valley University, where he serves as the K-16 Alliance Chair, an alliance with UVU and seven school districts from Utah, Wasatch, and Summit Counties.
He serves as a member of the Board for the Wasatch Community Foundation and is on the Joint Legislative Committee representing superintendents and school board members from across the state. He is a member of the Board of the Northeastern Utah Educational Services, which governs a service center that helps nine northeastern Utah school districts.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, are the parents of four children, and grandparents to six granddaughters and four grandsons.
Email address: email@example.com Phone: 435-654-0280
BIO FOR ELAINE PICKNEY
Elaine Pinckney is the Superintendent of the Chittenden South Supervisory Union which includes the school districts of Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, Williston, St. George, and the Champlain Valley Union High School. She has had a long history of service to the field. Elaine has worked as a teacher and principal at the elementary and middle levels. She has been a Bilingual Education Director, Enrichment Coordinator, and English as a Second Language teacher. Prior to taking on the superintendency at CSSU in 2006, she served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Education from 2004-2006. Elaine has served as a Trustee for the Vermont Superintendents Association and is currently the vice-president. She also co-chaired a work group that created a focus on education quality in Vermont that has been endorsed by the State Board of Education. Elaine serves as co-president for the Champlain Valley Regional Superintendents Association and is also a member of the governing board of the Regional Education Lab for the Northeastern states. She is a past president of the Vermont Council on Reading and the Vermont Principals’ Association.
Elaine was selected for the Frederick H. Tuttle Superintendent of the Year Award in May, 2013, an honor presented by the Vermont Superintendents Association (VSA).
Elaine received both her B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Vermont. She and her husband make their home in Williston, Vermont. Her oldest son has just graduated medical school. Her youngest son is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder. In her spare time, Elaine enjoys cooking, reading, and outdoor activities.
|Edward Lee Vargas||WA||
Dr. Edward Lee Vargas
Dr. Edward Lee Vargas is the Superintendent for the Kent School District (KSD). Located in the Seattle Metropolitan area, KSD is the 4th largest and most diverse district in Washington with over 138 languages spoken. As a unique and distinctive school system, KSD has received numerous local, state, national and international awards, including being designated a Microsoft International Best Practices Site for Technology, partner in the Innovative Schools World Tour and member of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools.
Vargas has served as superintendent in large urban school districts in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. As Superintendent for the Ysleta Independent School District, Vargas led the district to become the first 90-90-90 large urban district in Texas. In 2001, Vargas was appointed Superintendent for the 89,000 student Pre-K-Adult Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in Los Angeles County, where significant and rapid increases in student achievement received state and national attention. Vargas was named “California Superintendent of the Year” in 2006 and was recruited to the Stupski Foundation as a “Superintendent in Residence” where he worked coaching other system leaders around the country until his appointment to the Kent School District in 2009.
Vargas is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership for creating high performing school systems grounded in equity and excellence for all, and Distinguished Lecturer on “School System Readiness to Transform”, keynoting numerous state and national conferences, including the National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on 21st Century Skills, speaking at USA-China Educational Symposiums in China and presenting at Microsoft’s Global Forum on Technology in Prague, in the Czech Republic in 2012.
Dr. Vargas received his Masters from the University of New Mexico in Educational Diagnosis and Doctorate from the University of Washington in Leadership and Policy.
Edward Lee Vargas
|Dennis Kip Herren||WA||
Dennis Kip Herren
|Dr. Frank Hewins||WA||
Dr. Frank Hewins
Ronald J. Walsh
Born September 28, 1954 in Portsmouth, VA in the U.S. Naval Hospital to Thomas and Rose Anne Walsh. The second of nine children. Attended school in Granite Falls, MN through second grade and Chippewa Falls, WI for grades three through twelve graduating from McDonell Memorial High School in 1972. Graduated from U.W.-Eau Claire with a B.S. in elementary education in 1979, from U.W.-Stout in 1986 with an M.S. in guidance and counseling, from U.W.-Superior in 1995 with and Ed.S. in school superintendency and from Edgewood College, Madison, WI in 2010 with an Ed.D. in educational leadership.
Began teaching in 1979 for the Boyceville Community Schools as a fifth grade teacher for five years, a fourth grade teacher for one year and a second grade teacher for one year. In 1986 began as a guidance counselor for the Spooner School District as an elementary counselor for four years and a middle school counselor for three years. In 1993 began working for the Elk Mound Area School District as a middle school principal for eight years, a high school principal for two years and, for the past 10 years, as the superintendent of schools.