Barbara Byrd-Bennett
Harcourt School Publishers has appointed veteran school leader Barbara Byrd-Bennett to a newly created position as superintendent in residency. Byrd-Bennett most recently served as chief executive officer of the Cleveland, Ohio, Municipal School District. Previously she was the supervising superintendent for the Chancellor’s District in New York City, responsible for direct oversight of the lowest-performing schools, and superintendent of the Crown Heights School District in Brooklyn. Byrd-Bennett began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York City.

Frederick (Ric) Dressen
Ric Dressen is assuming the superintendency in Edina, Minn., on July 1 after spending the past 6½ years as superintendent of Alexandria, Minn., Public Schools. Earlier he was superintendent of Waconia, Minn., Public Schools, from 1991 through 1999. His administrative career includes serving as principal of Southview Elementary School in Waconia, as associate principal of Earle Brown Elementary School in Brooklyn Center, Minn., and as principal of St. Joe Lab School in St. Joseph, Minn. He began as a teacher in Annandale, Minn. Dressen earned an Ed. D. from the University of Minnesota.

Jesus H. Chavez
The Round Rock, Texas, Independent School District has welcomed back Jesus Chavez as its superintendent. Chavez earlier spent 11 years in Round Rock, beginning as an administrative intern while completing graduate studies. He was the district’s assistant superintendent for auxiliary services for two years. Chavez left Round Rock to serve as superintendent in Harlingen, Texas, and subsequently Corpus Christi, Texas, where he spent five years. He holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas.

Michelle Kavanaugh
Following a four-year stint as superintendent of the Plattsburgh City Schools in northeastern New York, Michelle Kavanaugh has moved to the state’s Finger Lakes Region as superintendent of the Honeoye Falls-Lima schools. She has spent her entire career in New York. Previously she worked as assistant superintendent for learning and assessment in Lockport, N.Y., and director of elementary curriculum and instruction in Lancaster, N.Y. Kavanaugh spent seven years as an elementary school principal in the Sweet Home district. She holds a doctorate from SUNY Buffalo.

Daniel G. Lowengard
Thirty-four years after he started his career as a teacher of reading and social studies at Shea Middle School in Syracuse, N.Y., Dan Lowengard has assumed the superintendency in the Salt City. Lowengard served from 1998 to 2005 as superintendent of the Utica, N.Y., City School District and earlier he filled a wide array of roles in the Syracuse City Schools. These included director of staff development and site-based planning, assistant director of middle schools, middle school principal and elementary school vice principal.

Robert Spillane
An AASA member for 43 years, Bud Spillane has been appointed director of the CNA Corporation’s Education Center. He most recently served as regional education officer for Europe in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools. Spillane’s lengthy career includes posts as deputy commissioner of education for New York State and superintendent in Fairfax County, Va., and Boston. Spillane, who joined AASA in 1963, was named the 1995 National Superintendent of the Year. 


Richard Bales,
from interim superintendent to superintendent, Johnson City, Tenn.

Chuck Chevalier, from superintendent, Auburn, Neb, to superintendent, South Sarpy School District, Springfield, Neb.

David Faltys, from superintendent, Navasota, Texas, to superintendent, Grapevine, Texas

Carl Harris, from deputy superintendent to superintendent, Durham, N.C.

Dan Hoesing, from superintendent, Laurel-Concord Public Schools, Laurel, Neb., to superintendent, Newcastle, Neb.

Sarah Jerome, from superintendent, Kettle Moraine Schools, Wales, Wis., to superintendent, Arlington Heights School District 25, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Thomas Knight, from superintendent, East Alleghany School District, North Versailles, Pa., to superintendent, Bethel Park, Pa.

Maureen Macera, from interim superintendent to superintendent, Woonsocket, R.I.

Kyle McGowan, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Crete, Neb.

Randy Mohundro, from superintendent, Collinsville, Texas, to superintendent, De Leon, Texas

Rick Scherza, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Cranston, R.I.

John Baraniak, superintendent, Somerset, Pa.

Don Betterman, superintendent, Plainview, Neb.

Eddie L. Davis, superintendent, Danbury, Conn.

Ann Denlinger, superintendent, Durham, N.C.

Mark Dietz, superintendent, Wyomissing, Pa.

Kenneth Dragseth, superintendent, Edina, Minn.

Frank J. Ferrari, superintendent, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, Schnecksville, Pa.

Chuck Hafer, superintendent, Mullen, Neb.

Lee Hall, superintendent, Shelton, Neb.

Richard Hughes, superintendent, Hardin County, Ky.

Ann Keim, superintendent, Pequea Valley Schools, Kinzers, Pa.

August Piazza, superintendent, Wyoming Valley West School District, Kingston, Pa.

Thomas L. Rother, superintendent, Raymond, Neb.

Jerry Williams, superintendent, Kimball, Neb.

Therese Peterson, 56, superintendent, Bath, Mich., Jan. 15

George Ruwitch, 94, retired superintendent, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 13

News about AASA members’ promotions, retirements, honors and deaths should be addressed to: Editor, The School Administrator, 801 N. Quincy St., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203. Fax: 703-528-2146. E-mail:

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