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Finalists selected from 49 state-level winners; Program celebrates 25th year
Diane L. Frost, superintendent, Asheboro City Schools, Asheboro, N.C.
Heath Morrison, superintendent, Washoe County School District¸ Reno, Nev.
Lorraine Lange, superintendent, Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke, Va.
Susan Smith Bunting, superintendent, Indian River School District, Selbyville, Del.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., January 3, 2012 – The American Association of School Administrators has announced four finalists in the 2012 National Superintendent of the Year program. The program, co-sponsored by ARAMARK Education, ING and AASA is celebrating its 25th year honoring the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents. AASA will announce the 2012 National Superintendent of the Year on Feb. 16, 2012, at the National Conference on Education in Houston, Texas.
The four finalists for 2012 AASA National Superintendent of the Year are:
"AASA is pleased to recognize these four outstanding superintendents," said AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech. "Their dedication to transforming schools, providing quality education for all students and working with the school community to advance student success represents the best in school system leadership today."
“We congratulate the four Finalists, all of the State winners and AASA for their ongoing leadership, innovation and commitment to excellence in education,” said Dennis Maple, President, ARAMARK Education. “As a founding sponsor of the National Superintendent of the Year program, all of us at ARAMARK are happy and proud to be celebrating its Silver Anniversary, and we thank all of the talented superintendents who have been dedicated to advancing student achievement and creating positive student learning environments over the past 25 years.”
"ING is proud to sponsor the 25th anniversary of the National Superintendent of the Year program and extends our congratulations to the national finalists and all the state winners," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation. "We are committed to education, and honoring the superior leadership of our public school superintendents for their efforts in advancing student achievement and positively influencing our youth is one way we can support excellence in education."
The four national finalists were chosen from 49 State Superintendent of the Year finalists. The finalists will be at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 10, 2012, where they will be interviewed by a national blue-ribbon selection panel of educators, businesspeople and government officials. The finalists are:
Diane L. Frost, superintendent, Asheboro City Schools, Asheboro, N.C.Diane Frost is currently in her 35th year in public education, with the past 20 years in Asheboro City Schools. She was named Assistant Superintendent in 1995 and Superintendent in 2000. Strategic planning and community engagement are hallmarks of Dr. Frost’s tenure with Asheboro City Schools. Leading the district through multiple strategic planning processes has unified the community around setting high expectations for all students and providing the tools needed to accomplish this goal. Her collaborative leadership style, creativity, and fierce determination to produce globally competitive students have resulted in a sharply narrowed mathematics achievement gap and a record-high graduation rate (84%).
Frost earned her bachelor and master degrees from the University of Nebraska and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Both universities have honored her with their Alumni Achievement Award. She served on the governing board for the American Association of School Administrators and is the NC State Textbook Commission chairman, appointed by the Governor.
Heath Morrison, superintendent, Washoe County School District¸Reno, Nev.Heath Morrison has been superintendent for Washoe County School District since 2009. Despite the fact that Nevada’s once-booming economy was in steep decline, Morrison led the community in the development of the District’s five-year strategic plan. Between 2009 and 2011, the District’s graduation rate jumped from 56 percent to 70 percent with increases in every student subgroup. The district also has achieved significant test score gains and has narrowed the achievement gap in many subject areas.
Morrison holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning and a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of the Arts in government from the College of William and Mary. Before coming to Nevada, Morrison was community superintendent for the Down County Consortium in Montgomery County Public Schools, Md. Morrison has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2012 Leadership through Communication Award from AASA, NSPRA, and Blackboard Connect and the Distinguished Educational Leader Award from the Washington Post.
Lorraine Lange, superintendent, Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke, Va.Lorraine Lange began her educational career in 1969 as a special education teacher. Lange was named superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools in June 2006. She led the effort to develop and implement a laptop initiative which has helped close the socioeconomic gap and level the playing field so all high school students have access to the same technological resources by assigning a laptop to every high school student personalized to meet their needs. The success of this program is evidenced by the school system’s On-Time Graduation Rate: 91.8 percent for 2010, up 2 percent from 2009 and exceeding the statewide average of 86.6 percent.
Lange holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Roanoke College, a Master’s Degree from Hollins University and a Doctorate from Virginia Tech. She has held the positions of kindergarten teacher, assistant principal, principal, supervisor of language arts K-12, associate director of instruction, assistant superintendent of instruction and deputy superintendent of instruction. She is a former adjunct professor at Hollins University and Roanoke College where she taught aspiring teachers.
Susan Smith Bunting, superintendent, Indian River School District, Selbyville, Del.Susan Bunting is currently serving in her sixth year as superintendent of the Indian River School District. Bunting has articulated a clear vision that has molded the district into an exemplary system with programs that school and district leaders from Delaware and surrounding regions have sought to replicate. Under her leadership, Indian River was selected as one of the original participants in Delaware’s Vision 2015 initiative and has become a trailblazer in Delaware’s Race to the Top. In 2011, IRSD’s students scored first, second, and third in reading, math, science and social studies in the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System, and all fourteen IRSD schools are ranked “Superior” in Delaware’s accountability system.
Bunting earned her B.S. in psychology and elementary education from The American University, a Masters in Education from Salisbury University, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of Delaware. Additionally, she attended Harvard’s Principals’ Academy and completed the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She received the University of Delaware’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 1999 and 2008, AASA’s Civic Star Award and NSBA’s Magna Award in 2003, and Delaware Superstar in Education recognition in 2000, 2006, 2009, and 2010.
The annual Superintendent of the Year program is open to all U.S., Canadian, and International School superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The applicants were measured against the following criteria:
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.
The National Superintendent of the Year will receive a jacket emblazoned with the National Superintendent of the Year emblem and, with the three other national finalists, will be recognized at the AASA National Conference on Education on Feb. 16, 2012, during the ceremony announcing the National Superintendent of the Year.
The 49 state-level, Canadian and international winners will also be honored at the AASA National Conference on Education. The winners are:
Larry E. DiChiara
Phenix City Public Schools
Cordova School District
Vail Unified School District
Greenwood School District
Whittier Union HighSchool District
Mapleton Public Schools
Simsbury Public Schools
Susan Smith Bunting
Indian River School District
Wallace P. Cox
School Board ofHighlands County
Marietta City Schools
Pocatello/ChubbuckSchool District 25
Freeport School District 145
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation
Linn-Mar Community School District
Seaman Unified School District 345
Lu Settles Young
Jessamine County Schools
Wayne R. Savoy
Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
Suzanne T. Godin
South Portland School Department
Talbot County PublicSchools
Bedford Public Schools
Tina A. Kerr
Northfield Public Schools ISD 659
Tishomingo CountySchool District
Wentzville R-IV School District
Daniel T. Farr
Sidney Public Schools
Northwest Public Schools
Washoe County School District
Elaine F. Cutler
Litchfield School District
Roy R. Montesano
Ramsey Public Schools
J. Mike Phipps
Artesia Public Schools
Henry L. Grishman
Jericho Union FreeSchool District
Diane L. Frost
Asheboro City Schools
Richard J. Buresh
Fargo Public Schools
Gene T. Harris
Columbus City Schools
Newcastle Public Schools
Ronald D. Wilkinson
Bend-La Pine Schools
Patrick T. O'Toole
Upper St. Clair School District
Donna M. Ottaviano
North ProvidenceSchool District
Joseph R. Pye
Dorchester SchoolDistrict 2
Chester Area Schools
Kathleen M. Airhart
Putnam County School System
Coppell Independent School District
Iron County School District
Burlington School District 15
Lorraine S. Lange
Roanoke County Schools
Patricia Anne Banks
University Place School District 83
Larry Edwin Parsons
Preston County Schools
Kristine A. Gilmore
D.C. Everest AreaSchool District
Sweetwater County School District 1
Waterloo Region District School Board,Ontario
South Slave Divisional Educational Council,Northwest Territories
American School of The Hague, Netherlands
About AASA The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of AASA is to advocate for the highest quality public education for all students, and develop and support school system leaders. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ. Become a fan of the AASA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AASApage.
About ARAMARK EducationARAMARK Education provides a complete range of food, facility, uniform and other support services to more than 500 K-12 school districts in the U.S. It offers public and private education institutions a family of dining and facility services including: on-site and off-site breakfast and lunch meal programs, after-school snacks, catering, nutrition education, retail design and operations, maintenance, custodial, grounds, energy management, construction management, and building commissioning. For more information on ARAMARK’s K-12 food service programs, please visit www.aramarkschools.com.
About ARAMARKARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com, or www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
About INGING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance, and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 115,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future. For more information, visit www.ing.com/us.
About the ING FoundationThe ING Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on programs in the areas of financial literacy, children’s education, diversity, and environmental sustainability. For more information, visitwww.ing-usafoundation.com.
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