4 Finalists Selected for AASA’s Superintendent of the Year Award
ARLINGTON, Va. – Superintendents from Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Washington have been selected as the four national finalists in the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) 2006 National Superintendent of the Year awards program. Established in 1988 and co-sponsored by facility management company ARAMARK, this annual award is bestowed on a superintendent who has demonstrated all-around outstanding leadership.
Sharon Patterson, superintendent of the 25,200-student Bibb County School System in Macon, Ga.; Manuel Rivera, superintendent of the 46,700-student Rochester, N.Y., City School District.; Larry Price, superintendent of the 12,500-student Wilson, N.C., County Schools; and Benjamin Soria, superintendent of the 14,600-student Yakima, Wash., School District, will vie for the honor.
“The superintendent is the pivotal leader in a community whose over-arching purpose is the education of our young people,” said AASA Executive Director Paul Houston. “To be successful, a superintendent’s leadership must be inspired by both the vision and commitment to provide each student with the best quality education available. These four national finalists are proven leaders who strive every day to inspire their teachers, principals, central-office staff, parents, civic leaders and community members to answer the call of service to students. AASA proudly shines the spotlight on these outstanding public school administrators.”
Patterson has been superintendent of the Bibb County School System since 2000. She previously served as the district’s interim superintendent. Patterson received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Rivera has been superintendent of the Rochester City School District since 2002. He previously served as the executive vice president for development of Edison Schools Inc. Rivera received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Price has been the superintendent of the Wilson County Schools since 1998. He previously served as the district’s assistant superintendent. Price received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University.
Soria has been the superintendent of the Yakima School District since 2000. He previously served as the deputy superintendent of the Tacoma, Wash., Public Schools. Soria received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State Teachers College and his master’s degree from the University of San Diego.
The four national finalists were chosen from 50 state Superintendent of the Year finalists, all of whom represent excellence in school leadership nationwide, Houston said. The annual awards program is open to all U.S. public school superintendents as well as superintendents of American schools abroad and Department of Defense Education Activity School superintendents who plan to continue in the profession.
The applicants were measured against the following criteria:
- Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.
- Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
- Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
- Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
The four national finalists will travel to Washington this month to meet individually with a blue ribbon panel of educators, businesspeople and government officials tasked with selecting the national award winner. The 2006 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced on Friday, Feb. 24, during AASA’s National Conference on Education™ in San Diego.
A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the National Superintendent of the Year to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area. In addition, the National Superintendent of the Year will receive:
- Ongoing recognition in the national news media
- A jacket emblazoned with the National Superintendent of the Year emblem
- A gold medallion with the National Superintendent of the Year emblem
- A special National Superintendent of the Year plaque
- A $2,000 U.S. government savings bond.
The three other national finalists will each receive a $1,000 U.S. government savings bond, a silver medallion with the Superintendent of the Year emblem and a plaque. They will be recognized at the AASA conference during the ceremony announcing the National Superintendent of the Year.
More information on the Superintendent of the Year program, as well as a list of the 50 state Superintendents of the Year, can be found at www.aasa.org.
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