Current & Former Honorees

Congratulations to the 2024 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®
Joe Gothard, superintendent, Saint Paul Public Schools (Minn.)

Joe Gothard at podium

So many people have supported me throughout my career. I truly feel it’s recognition of the many people behind the scenes who have made sure that I can be the best that I can be and who continue to support me to this day.

Joe Gothard

Joe Gothard stands out in the crowd. Literally. The superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, is six feet, six inches tall and bald. He’s hard to miss.

But that works to his advantage. Gothard, 52, who was selected as the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year award on Thursday afternoon at AASA’s National Conference on Education, prides himself on being open and present. He wants people to know he’s in their midst — and that he’s here to listen to them and engage with them.

It’s a distinctive quality that those around him appreciate. Jeanelle Foster, a former member of the St. Paul board of education, praises Gothard for being intentional about making space to listen to and learn from students, as well as parents and staff.

“It speaks to his character, in putting our kids first and always wanting to put our kids first, leading with what they need,” says Foster, who was on the board when Gothard was hired in 2017.

View Joe's Profile in the 2024 Conference Daily Online

View the AASA Press Release Announcing Joe's Honor

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the AASA 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.

Other 2024 Finalists
Martha Salazar-Zamora

Marth Salazar-Zamora

Tomball Independent School District, Texas

Kimberly Rizzo Saunders

Kimberly Rizzo Saunders

Contoocook Valley School District, N.H.

Fredrick Williams

Fredrick Williams

Dublin City Schools, Ga.

Former National Superintendent of the Year® Award Winners

2023: Kevin McGowan, Brighton Central Schools (N.Y.)

2022: Curtis Cain, Wentzville School District (Mo.)

2021: Michelle Reid, Northshore School District (Wash.)

2020: Gustavo Balderas, Eugene School District 4J (Ore.)

2019: Curtis Jones, Bibb County School District (Ga.)

2018: David Schuler, Township High School District (Ill.)

2017: Matthew Utterback, North Clackamas School District (Ore.)

2016: Thomas S. W. Tucker, Princeton City Schools (Ohio)

2015: Philip D. Lanoue, Clarke County School District (Ga.)

2014: Alberto M. Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (Fla.)

2013: Mark A. Edwards, Mooresville Graded School District (N.C.)

2012: Heath Morrison, Washoe County School District (Nev.)

2011: Marcus P. Johnson, Sanger Unified School District (Calif.)

2010: Betty Molina Morgan, Washington County Public Schools (Md.)

2009: Beverly Hall, Atlanta Public Schools (Ga.)

2008: Rudolph F. Crew, Miami-Dade County School District (Fla.)

2007: Krista Parent, South Lane School District (Ore.)

2006: Manuel J. Rivera, Rochester City School District (N.Y.)

2005: Monte C. Moses, Cherry Creek School District (Colo.)

2004: William R. McNeal, Jr., Wake County School District (N.C.)

2003: Kenneth A. Dragseth, Edina Public Schools (Minn.)

2002: Gail G. Uilkema, Piedmont Unified School District (Calif.)

2001: Rod Paige, Houston Independent School District (Texas)

2000: F. Donald Saul, Thompson School District (Colo.)

1999: N. Gerry House, Memphis City Schools (Tenn.)

1998: Barbara Grohe, Iowa City Community School District (Iowa)

1997: John R. O'Rourke, Pittsford Central School District (N.Y.)

1996: Janet N. Barry, Central Kitsap School District (Wash.)

1995: Robert R. Spillane, Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.)

1994: Kenneth L. Moffett, Lennox School District (Calif.)

1993: Kenneth S. Burnley, Colorado Springs School District (Colo.)

1992: Donald W. Ingwerson, Jefferson County Public Schools (Ky.)

1991: Carol G. Peck, Alhambra School District (Ariz.)

1990: Donald R. Draayer, Minnetoka Public Schools (Minn.)

1989: James A. Wilsford, Orangeburg School District (S.C.)

1988: Gene R. Carter, Norfolk Public Schools (Va.)

Thank You to our National Superintendent of the Year Partners

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