AASA Names Women in School Leadership Award Finalists for 2017



James Minichello


703-774-6953 (cell)


Alexandria, Va. – Oct. 5, 2016 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to announce the outstanding education leaders who will comprise the finalists for the organization’s 2017 Women in School Leadership Awards. The finalists represent the states of Alabama, California, Georgia, Michigan and Virginia. 

The awards continue a longstanding tradition of AASA honoring exceptional female superintendents, district level administrators and principals whose talent, creativity and vision are exemplary. Earlier this year, AASA announced a new category—the School Based Award—that recognizes the leadership skills of talented teachers, coaches and other school-based employees seeking leadership positions. 

Co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the awards are designed to recognize exceptional leadership of active, front-line female administrators who are making a difference in the lives of students every day and to pay tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools.

“The Women in School Leadership Awards program serves as a vehicle for public education to support more women educators in developing their leadership skills and advancing their careers,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We are pleased to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on this initiative, which is aimed to bring more women into leadership positions. We congratulate our finalists for their commitment to excellence and tireless work to raise student achievement.” 

The finalists for the three categories are as follows:  

The School Based Award awarded to any female classroom teacher or school based specialist Equivalent job titles may include teacher or school-based counselor.

  • Jennifer Butler, Instructional Technology Coach, Florence City Schools, Ala.  
  • Kristin Shymoniak, Lead Special Education Teacher, Arlington Public Schools, Va.    

The Central Office/Principal Award – awarded to any female central office or building-level leader

  • Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Associate Superintendent, Student Programs and Educational Services, Solano County Office of Education, Calif.
  • Claire Miller, Chief Academic Officer, Oconee County Schools, Ga.  

The Superintendent Award – awarded to any female superintendent

  • Yvonne Caamal Canul, Superintendent, Lansing School District, Mich.
  • Rosa Atkins, Superintendent, Charlottesville City Schools, Va. 

Candidates are judged based on leadership in meeting the learning needs of students, personal and organizational communication strength, constant professional improvement of knowledge and skills, and active community involvement.

The final award recipients in each category will be announced during the AASA National Conference on Education, March 2-4, 2017, in New Orleans, La. For more information on the Women in School Leadership Awards, please visit the AASA website or contact Bernadine Futrell, AASA director, awards and collaborations, at bfutrell@aasa.org or 703-875-0717.  


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.