20 Accomplished Women Selected to Participate in New AASA Aspiring Women Leaders Program


James Minichello

Alexandria, Va. – September 14, 2016 – After a nationwide search, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has selected 20 accomplished women leaders from school districts across the country to participate in the inaugural cohort of the AASA Aspiring Women Leaders Program.

The program is a cornerstone of the AASA Women In School Leadership initiative called More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership. The initiative was launched to help mitigate the impact of social barriers women face in ascending to the top leadership positions within our school systems and to significantly increase the number of women seeking and becoming CEOs and superintendents of schools.  

The 20 chosen women have exhibited professional excellence and a commitment to their work in the education field. They hold a variety of different positions within the school system. Included among the group of talented women are assistant superintendents, chief academic officers and a mixture of other district leaders, principals and a gifted resource and intervention teacher. All of these educators have career aspirations of becoming a superintendent of schools.

As a participant in the program, the women will receive:

  • Mentoring and coaching from a member of AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium;
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other aspiring women leaders from across the country; and,
  • Opportunities to gain national visibility through presentations at AASA meetings and in webinars.

“Our country is blessed with an increasing number of talented women leaders who are making positive gains when it comes to educating our children and preparing them for life beyond high school,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Creating opportunities and building new strategies for female educators will not only strengthen our field but provide potential pathways for female students who may wish to pursue education administration as a profession.”

“AASA is excited to partner with the national thought leader consortium of women leaders and aspiring women leaders from across the country to gain insights into the challenges and opportunities women face as they strive to achieve the top position in school districts,” said MaryAnn P. Jobe, director, leadership and education, AASA. “This national movement will bring additional awareness and focus on issues of leadership equality.”

The members of the AASA Aspiring Women Leaders Program include the following:

  • Julissa Alcantar-Martinez, principal, Houston ISD, Houston, TX
  • Karen Arbogast, director of elementary education, Wooster City School District, Wooster, OH
  • Margaret (Peggy) Aune, assistant superintendent, curriculum & instruction, Collier County Public Schools, Naples, FL
  • Karen Cheser, chief academic officer/ deputy superintendent, Boone County Schools, Florence, KY
  • Rosalie Daca, chief academic officer, Racine Unified School District, Racine, WI
  • Elizabeth Freeman, director of innovative learning, Teaching and Technology, Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL
  • Allene Houston Jones, assistant principal, Paducah Independent Schools, Paducah, KY
  • Amy Illingworth, director, professional growth, Sweetwater Union High School District, San Diego, CA
  • LaTonya Jones, assistant principal, DeKalb County School District, Atlanta, GA
  • Amy Kortemeyer, assistant superintendent, Iowa City Community School District, Iowa City, IA
  • Erica Lawrence, principal, Jefferson County Public Schools, Charlestown, IN
  • Tamu Lucero, assistant superintendent, Stamford Public School District, Stamford, CT
  • Kimberly MacKinney, chief academic officer, Oro Grande School District, Oro Grande, CA
  • Carletta Marrow, instructional director, Prince George's County Public Schools, Temple Hills, MD
  • Judith Minor, associate superintendent, Community Unit School District 308, Oswego, IL
  • Kristi Murphy, assistant superintendent, human resources, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA
  • Stephanie Passman, gifted resource and intervention teacher, Albemarle County Public Schools, Keswick, VA
  • Kristen Paul, associate principal, Deerfield 109, Deerfield, IL
  • Emily Shaw, principal, Hemet Unified School District, Hemet, CA
  • Melissa Woodard, chief academic officer, Boyertown Area School District, Boyertown, PA

The AASA Women in School Leadership initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more details on the initiative and to take advantage of the project resources that will be made available for use by the K-12 educational community, visit the AASA website.


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.