AASA Superintendent Personalized Learning Cohort Names New Leaders


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – March 7, 2018 – AASA President Gail Pletnick, superintendent of Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Ariz., and Valerie Truesdale, associate superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, N.C., have been named co-chairs of the Personalized Learning Cohort, created and administered by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Launched in 2015, the AASA Superintendent Personalized Learning Cohort has been bringing together visionary leaders who have personalized learning environments in their school districts. The professional leadership program provides superintendents with opportunities throughout the year to share successful models of personalized learning with an eye toward working as “critical friends” as actions steps are developed on behalf of local school districts.

“Personalized learning opens up the potential and opportunity for students to thrive in school because the system customizes how our young people learn,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Gail Pletnick and Valerie Truesdale have demonstrated a commitment for the growth of personalized curriculum in their respective school districts. When it comes to making the needle move as far as personalized learning is concerned, Gail and Valerie have been stalwarts in this important movement.”

As part of its strategic plan, Dysart Unified is committed to providing a clear roadmap to ensure each student, through personalized learning, will develop knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful. “Personalized learning is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have for all of our students to succeed,” said Pletnick. “We are engaging faculty, parents and students to monitor and reflect the progression being made in our district. I look forward to continuing to work with superintendents across the country to personalize education in their respective communities.”       
Today’s announcement comes shortly after AASA released a series of case studies to serve as resources for superintendents nationwide who wish to expand the personalized learning movement in their districts. The series profiles Amboy Community Unit School District #272 (Amboy, Ill.), Wilder School District 133 (Wilder, Idaho) and CMS, where 63 of the district’s 170 schools are using personalized learning. 

“The next step for us is to continue the current grass-roots effort so that personalized learning stays organic and teacher-focused as we strive to build students’ ownership of their own learning,” said Truesdale. “It was a validation and a lift for CMS to serve as host district for the cohort’s fall 2017 meeting. I look forward to expanding connections among educators who are on the journey toward increased personalization of learning for students and staff.”
“I am very pleased to work with Gail and Valerie. As we move to the next level of our work and as we become the national leader in personalized learning, I am excited that our cohort of more than 30 school districts will be guided by experienced, effective and visionary leaders. We welcome new districts to join,” said Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director. 

The 2018 AASA Superintendent Personalized Learning Cohort will meet in Virginia Beach, Va., April 25-27. For more information, visit the AASA website, or contact Mort Sherman at msherman@aasa.org.

To join the conversation via Twitter, access the hashtags #LearnPLinAction and #AASAPersonalizedLrng


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.