Two Outstanding Women Educators Receive AASA 2013 Women in School Leadership Award

Contact: Kitty Porterfield, AASA,, 703-774-6953
Randy Rice, Farmers Insurance,

Alexandria, Va., Feb. 22, 2013 – Deputy superintendent Ann Blakeney Clark of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Schools and Harriet R. MacLean, Principal of James B. Davidson Middle School, San Rafael, Calif., today received the American Association of School Administrators’ 2013 Women in School Leadership Award.

Ann Clark
Ann Blakeney Clark

Harriet MacLean
Harriet R. MacLean

The award, sponsored by Farmers Insurance and AASA, was presented at an awards ceremony preceding the second general session at the AASA National Conference on Education in Los Angeles, Calif. Each honoree will receive a $1,000 check and a one-year membership to the American Association of School Administrators.

The Women in School Leadership Award recognizes the exceptional leadership of active, front-line female administrators who are making a difference in the lives of students every day. The award pays tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools. The award is given in two separate categories: the superintendent/assistant superintendent category and the central-office administrator/principal category. The criteria include demonstration of strength in both personal and organizational communication, professionalism and community involvement.

Ann Blakeney Clark, deputy superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C.
Ann Clark has been the driving force behind a nationally recognized strategic staffing initiative that places a principal with a proven track record in an underperforming school. She was critical in helping CMS earn the prestigious Broad prize for Urban Education and was selected as one of eleven Broad Superintendent Academy Fellows targeted as a leader who will transform education. Ann has been instrumental in the school district’s data driven reform efforts, its focus on high quality leadership, and the development of innovative programs.

Harriet MacLean, principal, James B. Davidson Middle School, San Rafael City Schools, San Rafael, Calif.
In just four years, under Harriet MacLean’s courageous guidance, Davison Middle School has been transformed into a school that is student-centered, where leadership is shared, where students and families feel safe and proud, and where significant student achievement gains have been made by all students. Harriet led the faculty and community to a total redesign of the school. Teamwork and professional development were her chief strategies, and effective engagement brought the community into the process.

“We are proud to present women who embody what is very best in our school leaders,” said AASA executive director Daniel Domenech in announcing the awards. “Each in her own way recognizes that a strong collaboration between school and community is the bedrock of educational excellence. We are pleased to partner with Farmers Insurance to honor them.”

“Farmers Insurance is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the AASA Women in School Leadership Award” said Randy Rice, Farmers Insurance national manager of education programs and partners. “We salute the achievements of the extraordinary women in administrative positions throughout our school systems."

Twenty-five women from across the country were nominated for the awards: ten superintendents, seven deputy or assistant superintendents, three central office personnel, three elementary principals, one middle school principal, and one high school principal. The nominees are:
Esther Asbell, Assistant Superintendent, School Administrative Unit 16, NH
Lydia Begley, Associate Superintendent, BOCES of Nassau County, NY
Angie Besendorfer, Assistant Superintendent, Joplin Schools, MO
Shirley D. Bynum, Director, Career and Technical Education, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, NC
*Ann Blakeney Clark, Deputy Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, NC
Wanda Cook-Robinson, Superintendent, Southfield Public Schools, MI
Lillie Cox, Superintendent, Alamance-Burlington Schools, NC
Lisa D. Craig, Elementary Principal, West Genesee Central School District, NY
Tamara Crawford-Van Wyhe, Director, Teaching & Learning, Copper River School District, AK
Wanda Creel, Superintendent, Barrow County School System, GA
Merrianne Dyer, Superintendent, Gainesville City Schools, GA
Cynthia C. Elsberry, Superintendent, Horry County Schools, SC
Christine M. Ermold, Elementary Principal, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, AK
Alesia N. Gillison, High School Principal, Columbus City Schools, OH
Mary Alice Heuschel, Superintendent, Renton School District, WA
Nannette Johnston, Superintendent, Hardin County Schools, KY
Kimberly Paine Lowry, Elementary Principal, Kennett School District 39, MO
*Harriet R. MacLean, Middle School Principal, San Rafael City Schools – Elementary School District, CA
Barbara J. Martin, Deputy Superintendent, Kenton County School District, KY
*Kim Morrison, Director, Federal Programs & Strategic Planning, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, NC
Noris Price, Deputy Superintendent, Clarke County School District, GA
Regina Rossall, Superintendent, Westside Union School District, CA
Annette Seago, Deputy Superintendent, Blue Springs R-IV School District, MO
*Amy Sichel, Superintendent, Abington School District, PA
Nikki Woodson, Superintendent, Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, IN

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of AASA is to advocate for the highest quality public education for all students, and develop and support school system leaders. For more information, visit Follow AASA on twitter at Become a fan of the AASA Facebook page at

About Farmers Group Inc.
Farmers Group Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Farmers® is the nation's third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Property and casualty products are underwritten and issued by the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which Farmers Group Inc. manages but does not own. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, the Farmers insurers provide homeowners, auto, business, life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households.

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