Nation’s First-Ever Class of School District Leaders Earn National Superintendent Certification Superintendents Honored at AASA’s 150th Anniversary Celebration


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

San Diego, Calif. – Feb. 26, 2015 – Excellence in leadership in our nation’s public schools took a major step forward today when AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced the first class of superintendents to earn National Superintendent Certification.

The nearly 30 superintendents who completed the 18-month certification process were honored at AASA’s 150th anniversary celebration during the organization’s National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif.

“The political and economic pressures of the superintendent continue to grow, which why our district leaders must have all the tools and training available in order to succeed on the job,” said Daniel A. Domenech. “On behalf of AASA and all the superintendents leading our school districts, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the outstanding leaders being honored for completing our National Superintendent Certification program.” 

Launched in 2013, the National Superintendent Certification process is spread over 18 months and is tailored for superintendents who have been in the job five years or less. The forums, seminars, and coaching provide opportunities to define and examine issues that surface in real life situations. These issues include:

·       Providing world-class instructional leadership,

·       Building and managing a district budget,

·       Mastering effective communication and political skills,

·       Using 21st century technology effectively in instruction and management,

·       Managing superintendent-school board relations, and

·       Designing a career path for oneself.

“Continuing to work with our partner, The SUPES Academy, we administer a robust experience that focuses on sharpening the skills that successful superintendents acknowledge are needed to thrive on the job,” added Domenech.
The inaugural cohort has been a staggeringly positive experience for AASA members.

 The cohort gave anonymous feedback that ranked the value of the academy with a score of 4.8 out of a 5 point scale. The camaraderie, honesty and openness that participants described illustrate the experience that AASA members have been asking for. (In a short video produced by AASA, superintendents discuss why the program is critical for school district leaders.)

Superintendents honored for successfully completing AASA’s National Superintendent Certification program are:


For more information about AASA’s National Superintendent Certification program, contact Denny Dearden, AASA associate executive director, leadership, meetings and partnerships at For more information about the 2015 National Conference on Education, click here.

Bruce Beasley, MSAD #15, Gray, Maine

Rupi Boyd, Soledad Unified School District, Soledad, Calif.

Michael Bregy, North Shore School District 112, Highland Park, Ill.

Joe Davis, Ferguson-Florissant School District, St. Louis, Mo.

Bryan Davis, Columbus School District, Columbus, Wis.

Joe Espinoza, Socorro Independent School District, El Paso, Texas

Lupita Hightower, Tolleson Elementary School District, Glendale, Ariz.

John Jungmann, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, Mo.

Samuel King, Norfolk School District, Norfolk, Va.

John Kopicki, Forest City Regional School District, Forest City, Pa.

Jerry Lewis, White Salmon Valley School District, White Salmon, Wash.

Mark Matuska, Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools, Kasson, Minn.

Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District, Ridgefield, Wash.

Demond Means, Mequon-Thiensville School District, Mequon, Wis.

Meredith Nadeau, Cape Elizabeth School District, Cape Eliz, Maine

Deena Paramo, Mat-Su School District, Palmer, Alaska

Blake Peuse, Northern Ozaukee School District, Fredonia, Wis.

Erin Prince, Corvallis School District, Corvallis, Ore.

Mary Randall, School District of Bloomer, Bloomer, Wis.

Martin Ringstaff, Cleveland City Schools, Cleveland, Tenn.

Summer Stephens, Weston County School District #7, Upton, Wyo.

Jeff Thake, Amboy County Unified School District #272, Amboy, Ill.

Johnnie Thomas, Community High School District 155, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Lillian Torrez, Taos Municipal Schools, Taos, N.M.

Manuel Valenzuela, Sahuarita Unified School District #30, Sahuarita, Ariz.

Rob Watson, Bozeman School District, Bozeman, Mont.

Matthew Wendt, School District 308, Oswego, Ill.

The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program is a collaborative effort with AASA state affiliates, the National School Boards Association, and business and corporate leaders. The master teachers and guest instructors have all been sitting superintendents and have demonstrable track records of success.


About AASA

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit