K-12 Leaders to Gather in San Diego for AASA’s 2024 National Conference on Education
January 30, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Superintendent of the Year® to Be Announced at February Event
Alexandria, Va. – January 30, 2024 – Thousands of superintendents and district administrators as well as scores of advocates for public education from across the country are gathering at the 2024 National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 15-17, hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
Themed “Here For The Kids,” this year’s conference highlights the crucial role that public school superintendents play in creating a supportive, inclusive and empowering educational environment that meets the diverse needs of all students.
“The superintendents attending our program symbolize what it means to lead—and their actions demonstrate what it means to work diligently to create and maintain a learning platform for our students where education is not just a system but an innovative, vibrant and transformative force,” said David R. Schuler, executive director, AASA. “On behalf of the AASA family, it is an honor to welcome so many extraordinary school system leaders to our national conference. At a time when public education is under the microscope more than ever before, the tireless efforts by AASA members are sparking a joy and a love of learning making it easier for students to walk confidently through the doors of their district’s school buildings every single day.”
“The superintendents attending our program symbolize what it means to lead—and their actions demonstrate what it means to work diligently to create and maintain a learning platform for our students where education is not just a system but an innovative, vibrant and transformative force.”
Conference keynote speakers / topics will include:
- Abran Maldonado, co-founder, Create Labs, OpenAI Ambassador / Gen AI: How to Prepare Today’s Students for an Augmented Tomorrow and the Ways Schools Must Adapt (Feb. 15)
- Michele Gay, executive director, Safe and Sound Schools, Webb City, Mo. / School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective (Feb. 16)
- Gregg Behr, executive director, The Grable Foundation, Pittsburgh Pa. / Wonderous Learning (With a Little Help from Mister Rogers) (Feb. 17)
Given the enormous emphasis on self-care, wellness and innovation, for the third year in a row, AASA will host “The Live Well. Lead Well. Health & Wellness Center” where conference goers can recharge and relax. There, attendees can pet some puppies, relax during a massage, burn some energy on the electric bike smoothie maker and more.
For the first time, AASA will host a School Safety and Security Learning Lab in its exhibit hall. This educational opportunity will allow attendees to learn about school safety and security at their own pace in a self-guided experience.
On the first day of the conference, the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year® will be announced. The four finalists, announced December 18, are:
- Joe Gothard, Saint Paul Public Schools, St. Paul, Minn.
- Martha Salazar-Zamora, Tomball Independent School District, Tomball, Texas
- Kimberly Rizzo Saunders, Contoocook Valley School District, Peterborough, N.H.
- Frederick C. Williams, Dublin City Schools, Dublin, Ga.
VIDEO: On January 11, AASA hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featuring the four finalists. The panel was moderated by Education Week’s Caitlynn Peetz.
ONLINE STORY: National Superintendent of the Year® Finalists Discuss Top-of-Mind Leadership Issues at Panel Briefing in Washington, D.C.
In addition, the recipients of the 2024 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award will be honored. This award recognizes leaders who exemplify the qualities modeled by the late Effie Hall Jones, an educator and former AASA associate executive director. This year’s honorees are Francisco Durán, superintendent of Arlington (Va.) Public Schools, and Alena Zachery-Ross, superintendent, Ypsilanti (Mich.) Community Schools. (Feb. 16)
AASA will also recognize the recipients of its Women in School Leadership Award. This award pays tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding female educational administrators. (Feb. 16) Finalists are:
The Central Office/ Principal Category
- Romy DeCristofaro, assistant superintendent of student services, Evanston/Skokie District 65, Evanston, Ill.
- Liann M. Hanson, director of standards-based instruction, Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, N.D.
The Superintendent Category
- Kimberly Carter, superintendent, Battle Creek Public Schools, Battle Creek, Mich.
- Deborah Wortham, superintendent, Roosevelt Union Free School District, Roosevelt, N.Y.
For the 10th consecutive year, AASA’s ever popular Social Media Lounge will be a major part of the program. What has become a staple at AASA’s annual gatherings, superintendents and other administrators will have the opportunity to enhance their communications skills to make their voices heard on important equity and inclusivity issues as well as bolster their communications with their communities. Conference participants are encouraged to engage with their peers online by using the hashtag #NCE2024 in their social media posts.
From start to finish, attendees and all other advocates of public education can follow what’s happening at the conference through AASA’s Conference Daily Online. The award-winning, multimedia publication, updated each day, will provide a comprehensive report on the conference proceedings, including coverage of key speakers, award winners and AASA governance activities, as well as photos, brief video clips and daily blog postings by four AASA members. For the first time, a pair of veteran education leaders will prepare a daily podcast featuring some of the most insightful contributors on the conference program.
For more information about the 2024 National Conference on Education, visit the AASA website.
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.