Nation’s First-Ever Class of Educators Honored for Completing AASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy® at National Conference on Education


James Minichello 


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Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 17, 2018 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to announce the first-ever class of superintendents and other administrators to graduate from its Aspiring Superintendents Academy®. The outstanding educators were honored today at the organization’s National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tenn.

The conference is also serving as a platform to highlight AASA’s I Love Public Education campaign, a yearlong initiative designed to highlight why public schools are essential to developing the future generations who will maintain our country’s status as a world leader.

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.

“Congratulations to the graduates of the Aspiring Superintendents Academy® we are honoring today,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The key factors to measure the success of a superintendent go beyond instruction and educational issues, which is why it’s increasingly important for individuals who are public school system leaders to become champions for children. Our program provides the real-world skills the next generation of superintendents will need to thrive. We are grateful to the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), our premier School Solutions Center partner, for supporting this important initiative.”

The AASA Aspiring Superintendents Academy® cohort graduates were:

  • Jesse Bacon, principal, Fleming County Schools, Flemingsburg, Ky.
  • Sidney Brown, associate professor of educational leadership, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
  • Kimberley Cantu, associate 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 School District, 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 Area 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 curriculum and instruction, Mansfield Independent School District, Mansfield, Texas
  • Luis Solano, chief operating officer, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Detroit, Mich.
  • 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, deputy superintendent for secondary instruction, Kansas City Public Schools No. 500, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Corey Tafoya, superintendent, Harvard Community Unit School District No. 50, Harvard, Ill.

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

For more information about AASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy®, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, leadership services and awards, at

For more information about the 2018 National Conference on Education, access AASA’s Conference Daily Online.


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