While educators continue to wonder about the impact that the incoming administration will have on education, I’m excited about four of the brightest stars in public education. These individuals visited the nation’s capital earlier this month. I’m referring to the finalists for the 2017 National Superintendent of the Year.
AASA’s executive committee joined me in hosting these champions for children during our press conference at the National Press Club. Without a doubt, choosing the eventual honoree will be a tough task for our blue-ribbon panel of judges.
Our finalists have tremendous passion for what they do. Here is an excerpt of what they shared, demonstrating their commitment to their work and more importantly, their commitment to the students they serve:
Barbara Jenkins, Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools: “It’s reaffirming to our community and to our schools that we’re headed in the right direction, that we’re doing work that is recognized at a national level. I want to commend every superintendent across this nation because they do such critical work for our young people.”
Stewart McDonald, Kodiak Island Borough (Alaska) School District: “Our schools are such a central component of every one of our towns. Businesses are involved in our schools, our communities are involved in our schools so this feels like a validation of the incredible work we have formed in our collaborative partnerships.”
James Merrill, Wake County (N.C.) Public School System: “Public education in America is one of the last great institutions. It is what delivers our people to be enlightened and informed adults to preserve our democracy.”
Matthew Utterback, North Clackamas (Ore.) School District: “It’s an incredible honor to represent our school district and the state of Oregon. Our success in our school district has really been a collaborative and team effort. The National Superintendent of the Year has the opportunity to share stories, to share learning, to share the good work that is happening across our country.”
Hundreds of superintendents and other school system leaders will convene in New Orleans, March 2-4, where the eventual honoree will be announced during Day 1 of our National Conference on Education.
I invite you to view our latest video where you’ll hear more from Superintendents Jenkins, McDonald, Merrill and Utterback.
Dan Domenech is the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.