School System Leaders Earn National Superintendent Certification


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Superintendents Honored at AASA’s National Conference on Education

New Orleans – March 2, 2016 – Excellence in leadership in our nation’s public schools took a major step forward today when AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced the 2017 class of superintendents to earn National Superintendent Certification.
AASA, founded in 1865, is the premier organization for our nation’s superintendents, serving thousands of education leaders throughout the United States. The national conference brings public education’s best thought leaders together under one roof to discuss the most critical issues facing our schools. The nearly 40 superintendents who completed the certification process were honored during the first general session at the conference.

“It’s an honor to congratulate the outstanding education leaders being recognized today for completing the prestigious National Superintendent Certification program,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director. “Our process develops real-world skills that superintendents need to build a network of mentors, colleagues, critical friends and experts to call on throughout their career.”
Launched in 2013, the National Superintendent Certification process is spread over 18 months and is tailored for superintendents who have been in the job seven years or fewer. 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.

To date, four cohorts, totaling 87 superintendents, have completed the AASA Superintendent Certification Program. Anonymous feedback consistently ranks the content, presenters, and overall experience as useful or very useful to their work. One of this year’s graduates commented, “I'm so proud to be part of this program. My career and professional life will forever be better as a result.”  The camaraderie, honesty and openness that participants described illustrate the experience that AASA members have been asking for.

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

West II Cohort

  • William Adams, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Schools, Janesville, Minn.
  • Tammy Berg-Beniak, Pine Island School District 255, Pine Island, Minn.
  • Gena Cook Keller, Virginia Department of Education, Richmond, Va.
  • Daniel D. Cox, Charles City Community School District, Charles City, Iowa
  • Dominic A. DePatsy, School Administration District 53, Pittsfield, Maine
  • Jeff Elstad, Byron Independent School District 531, Byron, Minn.
  • Kriss Hagerl, Sierra Vista Unified School District 68, Sierra Vista, Ariz.  
  • Michael Hynes, Patchogue-Medford Unified School District, Patchogue, N.Y.
  • Jill Louters, New Rockford-Sheyenne Public School District, New Rockford, N.D.
  • Michael Munoz, Rochester School District 535, Rochester, Minn.  
  • Robert Padilla, Newburgh Public Schools, Newburgh, N.Y.
  • Brian D. Schmitt, Genesee Valley Central School District, Belmont, N.Y.
  • Jasvir Sethi, Pinon Unified School District 4, Pinon, Ariz.
  • Jim Vaszauskas, Mansfield Independent School District, Mansfield, Texas
  • Patrick Washington, Promise Academy, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Ron Williams, Victor Valley Union High School District, Victorville, Calif.  
  • Ruben Zepeda, II, Aromas-Sun Juan Unified School District, Palmdale, Calif.

Midwest I Cohort

  • Michael Almeida, Coventry Public Schools, Rumford, R.I.
  • William Burke, Spring Hill Unified School District, Spring Hill, Kan.
  • Brian Creasman, Fleming County Schools, Flemingsburg, Ky.
  • Edward Drapp, Regional School District No. 6, Litechfield, Conn.
  • Glenn Faircloth, Lorain County JVS, Elyria, Ohio
  • Alicia Henderson, Bellevue Union School District, Santa Rosa, Calif.   
  • Philip Hickman, Columbus Municipal School District, Columbus, Miss.
  • R. Scott Jeffrey, Lakeland School District, Scott Township, Penn.
  • James McKay, CHSD 117, Lake Villa, Ill.
  • Suzie Meade, Winterset School District, Winterset, Iowa
  • Jarod Mendenhall, Broken Arrow Public Schools, Broken Arrow, Okla.
  • Earl Metzler, School Administration District 55, East Hampstead, N.H.
  • Tom Muzzey, Orchard Farm School District, St. Charles, Mo.  
  • Miguel Perez, Jim Hogg County Independent School District, Hebbronville, Texas
  • Danielle Root, Hot Springs School District, Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Patricia Sheffer, Union County Public Schools, Morganfield, Ky.
  • Curtiss Whitaker, Fairmont School District, Lockport, Ill.
  • Andrew Wise, Olympia CUSD #16, Stanford, Ill.
  • Rodney Watson, Spring Independent School District, Houston, Texas

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.
For more information about AASA’s National Superintendent Certification program, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, leadership services and awards, at

For more information about the 2017 National Conference on Education, click here.


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