School District Leaders Graduate from AASA’s Urban Superintendents Academy®


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

World-Class Program Offers a Dynamic Approach to Urban Superintendent Preparation

Alexandria, Va. – June 5, 2018 – Public school leadership in our nation’s urban areas is making a critical gain, as nearly 30 superintendents, school administrators and other educators successfully completed the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy®.

The professional leadership initiative represents a partnership between AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and Howard University in response to the challenges facing public school districts in America’s urban communities. The program brings the most effective and inspiring thought leader practitioners to serve as instructors, mentors and presenters.

“The participants in our program have demonstrated a tremendous effort over the past year in their aspirations to serve as successful ambassadors for urban communities and provide a voice for the children who live in these communities,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The 2017-18 graduating class represents part of the next generation of educational leadership that must create more and more opportunities for children in urban areas. I am confident that our program will help participants find winning solutions for these children who are yearning to become successful members of our society.”

“At the Howard University School of Education, we have a paramount interest in meeting the needs of the urban school community, which is why I am so proud to congratulate the outstanding men and women who make up our Urban Academy graduating class,” said Dawn Williams, dean, Howard University School of Education. “These professionals have a deep commitment for fighting for social justice issues. We have great expectations of our graduates, yet we are confident they will succeed in leading our nation’s urban school districts.”

Launched in 2015, the Urban Superintendents Academy® prepares individuals for certification and success in urban and increasingly diverse suburban settings. The AASA-Howard University partnership is also designed to expand the pool of underrepresented superintendent groups.

The graduating class will be formally recognized at the 2019 AASA National Conference on Education, February 14-16 in Los Angeles.

The 2017-18 AASA Urban Superintendents Academy® / Howard University cohort is comprised of:

  • Omolara Akin-Taiwo, graduate student, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Morcease J. Beasley, superintendent, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro, Ga.
  • Dana Bogle, vice president, leadership development, Teach for America, Washington, D.C.
  • Yolanda M. Cargile, superintendent, Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Michael T. Conner, superintendent, Middletown Public Schools, Middletown, Ct.
  • Derrick Dunlap, principal, Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School, Queens, N.Y.
  • Anthony Edison, superintendent, Posen-Robbins School District 143.5, Posen, Ill.
  • Benjamin Edmondson, superintendent, Ypsilanti Community Schools, Ypsilanti, Mich.
  • Kelvin Edwards, deputy superintendent, Franklin City Public Schools, Franklin, Va.
  • Chaz Gipson, doctoral student, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • LeTrecia Gloster, executive lead principal, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Bernice Gregory, chief human capital management officer, DeKalb County Schools, Stone Mountain, Ga.
  • James L. Henderson, superintendent, Canton Public School District, Canton, Miss.
  • Tenika Lola Holden-Flynn, principal, Beacon House, Inc., Bowie, Md.
  • Patrick Jean-Pierre, deputy assistant director, Diversity and Inclusion, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, N.Y.
  • Felicia Jones, director, Judy Center at Arlington Elementary School, Baltimore City Public School District, Baltimore, Md.
  • Heather Lamb, academic coordinator, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Anthony Lewis, superintendent, Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, Kan. (July 1)
  • Jubria A. Lewis, director of school improvement, SEED Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Brandon Martin, coordinator, career and technical education, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Nicole McDowell, director, alternative programs and charter schools, Racine Unified School District, Racine, Wis.
  • Terry Nelson, executive director, curriculum, instruction, professional learning and testing, Hancock County Schools, Sparta, Ga.
  • Veronica Diane Perkins, chief academic officer, Little Rock School District, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mini-imah Shaheed, head of schools, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Keith Simmons, chief of staff, Bibb County School District, Macon, Ga.
  • Darrin Slade, associate superintendent, Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Andrea St. John, doctoral student, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Tommy Welch, principal, Meadowcreek High School, Norcross, Ga.
  • Stacey M. Wilson-Norman, chief academic officer, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, N.C. 

For more information about the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy, visit the AASA website. For questions, contact Bernadine Futrell, AASA director, leadership services, at 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