School System Leaders Honored at AASA’s National Conference on Education for Earning National Superintendent Certification


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – March 5, 2020 – Public school system leadership took a step forward as 18 superintendents were recognized for successfully completing the National Superintendent Certification Program®, administered by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

The ceremony was part of AASA’s National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif.

“To best serve staff, students and the community at large, today’s superintendent must possess the skills, knowledge and professional networks necessary to succeed,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director. “I know firsthand just how difficult the challenges superintendents face can be. That’s why I am pleased to congratulate these outstanding education leaders for completing the National Superintendent Certification Program®. As the nation’s premier organization for public school district leadership, we encourage superintendents who are in their early years on the job to consider enrolling in this program.”

The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® sharpens the skills that successful superintendents identify as essential for leading in today’s complex and challenging education environment. The program is developed by superintendents, exclusively for superintendents, and led by seasoned and successful superintendents, which is an excellent formula for premier professional development.

Superintendents and other administrators honored were:

  • Mark Albertus, superintendent, Carrollton City Schools, Carrollton, Ga.
  • Kenny Blackwood, superintendent, Spartanburg County School District 3, Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Michael Carolan, superintendent, Dover-Eyota Public Schools, Eyota, Minn. 
  • Michael Daria, superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
  • Harry “Doc” Ervin, superintendent, Bakersfield City School District, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Jeffrey Fecher, superintendent, Abington School District, Abington, Pa. 
  • George Fiore, executive director, Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, Pa.
  • Anthony Hamlet, superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Matthew Hillmann, superintendent, Northfield Independent School District 659, Northfield, Minn.
  • Russell Holden, superintendent, Sunapee School Administrative Unit 85, Sunapee, N.H.
  • Jeffrey Holm, superintendent, Willmar Independent School District 347, Willmar, Minn.
  • Justin Jennings, chief executive officer, Youngstown City School District, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Lois DaSilva-Knapton, former superintendent, Canterbury Public Schools, Canterbury, Conn.
  • Rick Ross, superintendent, Mason County School District, Maysville, Ky.
  • Kimberly Rizzo Saunders, superintendent, Contoocook Valley Regional School District, Peterborough, N.H.
  • Victor Shandor, superintendent, York County School Division, Yorktown, Va.
  • Nicolas Wade, superintendent, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401, Elmwood Park, Ill.
  • Phillip Barry Williams, superintendent, Gates County Public Schools, Gatesville, N.C.

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 outstanding track records of success.

For more information about AASA’s National Superintendent Certification Program®, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, at

Regarded as the most comprehensive professional learning and networking event for school superintendents and administrators, the National Conference on Education is addressing the most critical issues affecting public education today, including equity in education, social and emotional learning, personalizing education, early learning, technology, and school safety and leadership.

For more information about the conference, 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 equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit