Remembrance: Bud Spillane, National Honoree and 52-Year Member


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – July 20, 2015 – Robert R. “Bud” Spillane, the 1995 National Superintendent of the Year and a 52-year member of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, died July 18 in a hospital in Boston. He was 80 and lived in Pawcatuck, Conn.

Between 1985 and 1997, Spillane headed the Fairfax County, Va., Public Schools following a four-year run as superintendent in Boston.

“Bud Spillane was an incredibly tough act to follow,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA, who succeeded Spillane at Fairfax County Schools in January 1997. “He was an educator’s educator in every sense and will be sincerely missed. We are grateful for his longtime commitment to the many children he served as an advocate for public education.”      

After retiring from the superintendency, he worked for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools and remained active in AASA. For years, he served as a member of the blue ribbon selection panel for the National Superintendent of the Year program, managed by AASA.

Spillane maintained an unusually high profile for a school leader, according to an article in AASA’s School Administrator magazine about the first 10 National Superintendents of the Year.  “He frequently was sought out by the national press, traveled and spoke a good deal on education issues, served on a number of prominent boards, wrote for professional publications and taught at several colleges and universities,” the article stated.

Spillane said representing his colleagues across the country as National Superintendent was humbling and acknowledged the experience made him “a little more careful and cautious in some of my responses ... a little more statesman-like than I might normally be.” Locally, the award boosted pride for Fairfax County, Va., and particularly for its school system.

An obituary for Spillane appears in The Washington Post


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