First-Ever Class of Educators Completes AASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy®


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – May 18, 2017 – Excellence in public school district leadership took a step forward with the graduation of the inaugural class of AASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy®.

This group of 23 aspiring superintendents completed 10 months of intensive coursework on leadership topics such as Leading with a Vision for Excellence, Effective Community and Stakeholder Communications and Engagement, and Working Effectively with the School Board. Participants also completed a Capstone project on school leadership.

“I am incredibly proud of this inaugural group of emerging education leaders for taking on this challenge to gather the real-world skills they will need to thrive in the superintendency,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director. “I commend them for their work and for stepping up to be the next generation of education leaders for our schools and our children.”

The Aspiring Superintendents Academy® was led by David Schuler, AASA immediate past president, and superintendent of High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, Ill. Sessions were also taught by leading superintendents from across the nation.

This program focuses on developing a professional practice grounded on evidence-based knowledge, skills, and dispositions resulting in certification and transition for participants into their first position as a superintendent.

AASA is currently accepting applications for the next Aspiring Superintendents Academy®, which will begin in July 2017. Two cohorts are available: Alexandria, VA, July 19-22; and Oceanside, CA, July 17-20. Full information and applications are available at The application deadline is June 15, 2017.

For additional information about the Aspiring Superintendents Academy®, visit the AASA website. For questions, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, at


The following are among the first-ever class of AASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy®.

  • Jesse Bacon, principal, Fleming County Public Schools, Flemingsburg, Ky.
  • Sidney Brown, associate professor of educational leadership, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
  • Kimberly Cantu, assistant superintendent for human resources, Mansfield Independent School District, Mansfield, Texas
  • Keith Chapman, principal, Regional School District No. 6, Morris, Conn.
  • Jeffrey Fecher, assistant superintendent, Abington Public Schools, Abington, Pa.
  • Shawn Foster, chief officer of operations and student services, Aiken County Public Schools, Aiken, S.C.
  • Lynn Fuini-Hetten, assistant superintendent, Salisbury Township School District, Allentown, Pa.
  • Erika McCoy, assistant principal, Florence City Schools, Florence, Ala.
  • Kristen McNeill, deputy superintendent, Washoe County Public Schools, Reno, Nev.
  • Greg Miller, superintendent, Fleetwood School District, Fleetwood, Pa. (as of July 1)
  • Dana Monogue, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, School District of Elmbrook, Brookfield, Wis.
  • Anthony Moore, assistant superintendent for elementary education, Raytown Quality Schools, Raytown, Mo.
  • Terry Oatts, assistant superintendent of Student Achievement, Fayette County Public Schools, Fayetteville, Ga.
  • Joshua Olsen, assistant superintendent, Olympia Community Unit School District, No. 16, Stanford, Ill.
    Stephen Poling, assistant superintendent for education, Dysart Unified School District, Surprise, Ariz.
  • Darlene Pugnali, assistant director, International Charter School, Pawtucket, R.I.
  • Aimee Rainey, principal, Florence City Schools, Florence, Ala.
  • Sean Scott, assistant superintendent of technology and information systems, Mansfield Independent School District, Mansfield, Texas
  • Luis Solano, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Collier County Public Schools, Naples, Fla.
  • Wade Steinhoff, assistant superintendent, Orchard Farm R-V School District, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Theodore Stevens, director for curriculum and instruction, School City of Mishawaka, Mishawaka, Ind.
    Jayson Strickland, assistant superintendent for secondary education, Kansas City Public Schools, No. 500, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Corey Tafoya, superintendent, Harvard Community Unit District 50, Harvard, Ill. (as of July 1)
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