Washington, Alabama Educators Receive 2016 Women in School Leadership Award



James Minichello

703-774-6953 (cell)


Phoenix, Ariz. – Feb. 12, 2016AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced today the honorees of the 2016 AASA Women in School Leadership Awards. The outstanding educators are Carla Santorno, superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma, Wash., and Aimee Rainey, principal of Florence Middle School, Florence City Schools, Florence, Ala. 

The awards, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AASA, were presented during the National Conference on Education in Phoenix, Ariz. Each honoree received a $1,000 check and a one-year membership to AASA.

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.

The other national finalists were:

  • Karen Rue, superintendent, Northwest Independent School District, Justin, Texas
  • Kimberly Clark, assistant principal, Pinelands Regional School District, Little Egg Harbor, N.J.   

“The outstanding women educators we are honoring today are strengthening public education,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “This ceremony should send a signal to America that more needs to be done to bring more women into leadership positions.”

The Women in School Leadership Award pays tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools.

The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

  • Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system
  • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication
  • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team
  • Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues

Members of the 2016 AASA Women in School Leadership Award Selection Committee included:

Jill Cook, assistant director, American School Counselor Association, Alexandria, Va.

Martha Morris, director, K-12 Outreach and Resources, College Readiness Assessments, Reston, Va.

Gail Pletnick, superintendent, Dysart Unified School District 89, Glendale, Ariz.

Amy Sichel, superintendent, Abington School District, Abington, Pa.

Kathleen Vail, director of editorial services, National School Boards Association, Alexandria, Va.  

For more information about AASA’s Women in School Leadership Awards, contact Bernadine Futrell, AASA director of awards and collaborations, at bfutrell@aasa.org.


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 www.aasa.org.