Valerie Truesdale, Superintendent, Beaufort County Public Schools, S.C.

Truesdale
Valerie Truesdale
, superintendent, Beaufort County Public Schools in Beaufort, S.C., is the recipient of the first American Association of School Administrators’ 2011 Women in School Leadership Award. She is being cited for her passionate instructional leadership, her ardent advocacy of technology in the classroom and her community activism on behalf of education. She has served Beaufort County 19,600-student district since 2007, and previously spent four years in the same capacity for the Oconee County (SC) district.

, superintendent, Beaufort County Public Schools in Beaufort, S.C., is the recipient of the first American Association of School Administrators’ 2011 Women in School Leadership Award. She is being cited for her passionate instructional leadership, her ardent advocacy of technology in the classroom and her community activism on behalf of education. She has served Beaufort County 19,600-student district since 2007, and previously spent four years in the same capacity for the Oconee County (SC) district.

Fifty-one women from across the country were nominated for the award: 31 superintendents and assistant superintendents, five cabinet level leaders, and 15 principals.

 

Finalists 

Claudia Ardon-Diaz, Director of the Migrant Education Program of Delano Union School District, CA. Diaz restructured the Migrant program in her school district, extending the school day from kindergarten through eighth grade, formulating math and language arts focus standards, adding Saturday Academies for struggling students, and insuring that preschool age students participate in “Aprendiendo en Casa, “ a program for Migrant parents and teachers. 

Ranelle J. Lang, Ed.D, Superintendent of Greeley-Evans, Co School District 6. Lang revised and aligned the district curriculum, changed the teachers’ instructional philosophy from “Have I Taught It?’ to “Have Our Students Learned It?,” instituted data-driven decision-making, and improved district effectiveness and accountability—and accomplished this with limited per student funding. 

Melody A. Johnson, Ph. D., Superintendent of Fort Worth Independent School District, TX. During the five years that Johnson has led Fort Worth ISD, student achievement has been increasing and the achievement gap has been shrinking. In 2009-10, students showed statistically significant gains in nearly every grade and every subject for every student population. A recent report issued by Thomas Fordham University called Fort Worth a “hotbed’ for educational reform.

Nominees 

Linda Aceves, Santa Clara County, Calif.
*Claudia Ardon-Diaz, Delano Union School District, Calif.
Nancy Biggs, Lincoln Public Schools, Neb.
Angela Birdwell, Higley Unified School District, Ariz.
Lois Bullock, Houston Independent Sch. Dist., Texas
Susanne Burkhardt, Shelby County Public Schools, Ky.
Happy Carrico, Denton Independent School District, Texas
Sweetwater Union High School District, Calif.
Pamela Cohn, Omaha Public Schools, Neb.
Pat Couch, Lewis County Schools, Tenn.
Doris Delaney, Region 4 Education Service Center, Texas
Salley Downey, East Valley Institute of Technology., Ariz.
Margaret Dredla, Educational Service Unit 13, Neb.
Merrianne Dyer, Gainesville City Schools, Ga.
Jacquie Estee, Westside Community Schools, Neb.
Corrine Frank, Maricopa County Regional School District, Ariz.
Rhonda Frueauff, Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools, Ariz.
Lynn Green, Aberdeen School District 5, Wash.
Gene Harris, Columbus City Schools, Ohio
Beverly Hurley, Buckeye Union High School District., Ariz.
Jamie Isom, Valentine Community Schools, Neb.
Julie Jackson, Fulton County School System, Ky.
Aresta Johnson, Bridgeport Board of Education, Conn.
*Melody Johnson, Fort Worth Independent School District., Texas
Fawzia Keval, Elk Grove Unified School District, Calif.
Krista Parent, South Lane School District, Ore.
Barbara Peters, Elmsford Union Free School District, N.Y.
Shelley Redinger, Oregon Trail School District. Ore.
Kristen Rex, Humboldt Unified School District, Ariz.
Marilou Ryder, Victor Valley Union High School District, Calif.
Amy Sichel, Abington School District, Pa.
Kathryn Simila, Houghton-Portage Township Schools, Mich.
Cynthia Speace, Wyomissing Area School District, Pa.
Susan Taylor, Pinellas County School System, Fla.
Delesa Thomas, Houston Independent School District, Texas
*Valerie Truesdale, Beaufort County School District, S.C.
Kathryn Turner, Fletcher Public Schools, Okla.
Melinda Turner, Owsley County Schools, Ky.
Nola Wellman, Eanes Independent School District, Texas
Judy White, San Bernadino City Unified School District, Calif.
Jane Wiebold, Wahoo Public Schools, Neb.
Heather Williams, Gooding Joint. School District, Idaho
Caroline Winchester, Chadron Public Schools, Neb.
Mary Yilk, Doniphan-Trumbull Public School, Neb.
Alisa Zapata, Houston Independent School District, Texas