Roster: Superintendents From Nontraditional Fields

This is an up-to-date list of superintendents who came into school system administration from a completely different career field.

  • Raymond F. Arment III: superintendent, Eatonville, Wash., appointed July 1998; previously U.S. Army colonel

  • Alan D. Bersin: superintendent, San Diego Unified School District, appointed July 1998; previously U.S. attorney, San Diego, Calif.

  • Paula Dawning: superintendent, Benton Harbor, Mich., appointed July 2002; previously vice president of sales at AT&T

  • John C. Fryer Jr.: superintendent, Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, Fla., appointed June 1998; previously U.S. Air Force major general


  • Don Gaetz: superintendent, Okaloosa County Public Schools, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., elected November 2000; previously owner of VITAS Health Care Corp. in Miami

  • Joel I. Klein: chancellor, New York City Public Schools, appointed July 2002; previously CEO of Bertelsmann USA, and assistant attorney general, U.S. Justice Department

  • Joseph J. Redden: superintendent, Cobb County, Ga., appointed November 2000; previously U.S. Air Force general

  • John F. O'Sullivan Jr.: superintendent, Savannah-Chatham County, Ga., appointed April 2001; previously U.S. Air Force colonel

  • Roy Romer: superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, appointed July 2000; previously Colorado governor

  • Paul Vallas: chief executive officer, Philadelphia Public Schools, appointed 2002; previously budget director, city of Chicago, and CEO, Chicago Public Schools

  • Michael Wank: superintendent, Seneca East Local Schools, Attica, Ohio, appointed August 1998; previously vice president of enrollment services, St. Francis College, Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Joseph Wise: superintendent, Christina, Del., appointed 2003; previously, CEO of eSchool Solutions in Orlando, Fla., and an executive with the Walt Disney Co.