Missouri’s Curtis Cain Named 2022 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®



James Minichello

Announcement Made at AASA’s National Conference on Education  

Alexandria, Va. – Feb. 17, 2022Curtis Cain, superintendent of Wentzville School District, in Wentzville, Mo., has been named the 2022 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®. Today’s announcement came at the National Conference on Education, hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

VIDEO: Click here to see the National Superintendent of the Year announcement and remarks.   

The other National Superintendent of the Year® finalists were: 

“This is such a humbling recognition in the field of education, specifically within the superintendency with the creative, brave and bold things so many of my colleagues are engaging in,” Cain said of being a finalist. “It’s a recognition that provides a platform so people can understand how special not only the Wentzville School District is, but the community as well. The work is never done, but this recognition celebrates the work that we’re doing.” 

Cain has served as superintendent of Wentzville Schools, a district with more than 17,300 students, since 2013. The school system’s performance on the state’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is in the top 13% of the more than 520 school districts in the state. Prior to joining Wentzville Schools, he served as the associate superintendent for educational services in the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District. He has also served as the director of curriculum and professional development for the Park Hill (Mo.) School District. He’s about to seek a new adventure, having been named the next superintendent this summer of the Rockwood School District, also a St. Louis suburb.

Now in its 35th year, the National Superintendent of the Year® program, co-sponsored by AASA, AIG Retirement Services and First Student, celebrates the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents.  

“Many congratulations to Curtis Cain, an outstanding leader,” said Rob Scheinerman, chief executive officer, AIG Retirement Services. “AIG Retirement Services is honored to support school superintendents, and we thank all of this year’s finalists for their commitment to students, teachers and staff. We wish them continued success in advancing quality public education for their communities.”

“Given the resolve educators have demonstrated when faced with unprecedented challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an honor to congratulate Curtis Cain as the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year®,” said Paul G. Osland, president, First Student. “Superintendent Cain, along with our three other finalists, is an exceptional professional who models the highest standards when it comes to leading a school district, especially during extraordinary times. At First Student, we are proud to partner with AASA on this celebration of leadership in public education.”   

“In the face of the pandemic where kitchen-table conversations across the country are focusing on what tomorrow will bring, Superintendent Curtis Cain has stood tall to ensure a quality education is being delivered to the students he serves,” Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “It is truly an honor to congratulate Curtis, as well as Quincy Natay, Kamela Patton and Noris Price, for serving as a champion for children and empowering his students to lead us into a better world. I thank AIG Retirement Services and First Student for supporting our program.” 

Members of the 2022 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® Award Blue Ribbon Selection Committee include: 

  • Wanda Cook-Robinson (2013 National Superintendent of the Year® finalist), superintendent, Oakland Schools, Waterford, Mich. 
  • Earl Franks, executive director, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Alexandria, Va.
  • Tom Gentzel, executive director and CEO, National School Boards Association, Alexandria, Va. (retired)  
  • Curtis Jones (2019 National Superintendent of the Year®), superintendent, Bibb County (Ga.) School District 
  • Patricia Neudecker (past AASA president), director, School Leadership Programs, Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.  

The AASA National Superintendent of the Year® program is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors Canadian and other international school superintendents. The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

  • Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system;
  • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication;
  • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team; and
  • Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues. 

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2021 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® to a student attending the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area. 

For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Rooney, AASA director, meetings and awards, at jrooney@aasa.org.

Click here to access a list of the AASA 2022 State Superintendents of the Year. For more information about the National Conference on Education, access AASA’s Conference Daily Online.

Regarded as the most comprehensive professional learning and networking event for school superintendents and administrators, AASA’s National Conference on Education addresses the most critical issues affecting public education today, including leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, equity in education, social and emotional learning, personalizing education, technology and school safety.


About AIG Retirement Services
For more than half a century, AIG Retirement Services has served as a leading defined contribution retirement plan provider for tax-exempt and public sector employers, including K-12, higher education, healthcare, government, religious, charitable and other nonprofit organizations. AIG Retirement Services has more than $130 billion in total assets under administration, managing thousands of plans and serving approximately 2 million customers. It includes the VALIC family of companies: The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. and VALIC Retirement Services Company. Additional information can be found at http://www.aig.com/RetirementServices.

About First Student
As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes five million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of about 40,000 buses. For more information, please visit

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 www.aasa.org.