The Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino and Latina Leaders


The Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino and Latina Leaders is a highly interactive year-long program that provides participants with the real-world skills a next generation Latino and Latina superintendent will need to thrive. The Academy will cover topics essential to developing a deep understanding of the leadership role of a successful Latino and Latina superintendent. It is a highly engaging, year-long professional learning experience. Graduates of the academy should be well equipped to lead 21st century schools with creativity, vision and a commitment to equity and excellence.  

This standards-based professional learning opportunity will provide Latino/a leaders with an insightful blend of theory and practice through a combination of in-person sessions and on-line webinars. The Academy is led by highly skilled, nationally recognized Latino and Latina educational leaders and mentors. Cohort members will participate in experiential learning tasks designed to expand their understanding of self as a Latino and Latina and the critical skills necessary for success as a superintendent. Members of the academy cohort will explore problems of practice, simulations, and engage in a series of learning experiences culminating in a Capstone Project. The goal of the academy is to produce transformational superintendents rather than traditional administrators and prepare Latino and Latina leaders to be successful in the role of superintendent. Graduates of the academy will be equipped to lead diverse future ready school systems with creativity, vision, and a commitment to equity and excellence.


Academy Vision:    

The Aspiring Superintendents Academy for Latino and Latina Leaders will address critical issues of leadership designed to support Latino and Latina candidates aspiring to the superintendent role. The Aspiring Superintendents Academy for Latino and Latina Leaders program will include the following modules and focus areas: 

  • Framing the Superintendent Role:  Knowing Yourself and Your Leadership Strengths and Areas for Growth as a Future Latino and Latina Superintendent
  • Leading for Equity with Urgency: Unique Challenges Facing Latino and Latina Superintendents in Confronting Bias, Limited Access and Opportunity, and Inherent Structural Inequities
  • Understanding Governance: Building Effective Relationships While Confronting the Unique Challenges Faced by Latino and Latina Superintendents
  • Building a Community of Support: Cultural Responsiveness and Leadership Strategies for Addressing the Unique Strengths and Challenges of Latino and Latina Students, Families, and Stakeholder Groups
  • Balancing leadership: Addressing Operations and Fiscal Management
  • Leading Learning: The Role of the Latino and Latina Superintendent in Reinforcing Evidence-Based Practices in Curriculum and Assessment, Including Cultural and Linguistic Proficiency  

  Academy Details and Dates



Dr. Gladys I. Cruz, District Superintendent,        Questar III BOCES, Castleton, NY


Dr. Lupita Ley Hightower, Superintendent, Tolleson Elementary School District, Tolleson, AZ  

Virtual Kick-off 

April 8, 2022 5:00-8:00 pm ET

April 9, 2022   11am -1 pm ET  

 All other Virtual Meetings    5:30-7:30 pm ET

May 6, 2022

September 2, 2022

October 7, 2022

November 4, 2022

December 2, 2022

January 6, 2023

In-person Meetings 

June 3 and June 4, 2022       8:30 AM–4:00 PM   In-person - Avondale, AZ

Feb. 15-16, 2023     Time TBD  In-person Graduation at NCE 2023 in San Antonio, TX

Who is Encouraged to Apply? 

Latino and Latina leaders who aspire to be a superintendent are encouraged to apply.  Priority will be given to Latino and Latino principals and central office professionals. Superintendents and members of district governing bodies are encouraged to nominate professionals.  

Participation will be limited to 30 per cohort. Applications will be screened for the highest quality candidates.  Those selected for participation in the program will be outstanding, high-performing leaders whose next logical career moves would be to the superintendency.   

Application Deadline: March 28, 2022




Program Fees 

Nonmember Price: $4,800
AASA Member Discounted Price: $4,500

Not a member? Join now to save $300!

For more information or questions, please contact the AASA Aspiring Lead Superintendent, Gail Pletnick at, or Director, Leadership Network, Debbie Magee at