National Superintendents Certification Alumni


AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®

Through our in-depth curriculum, dynamic in-person and virtual sessions, one-on-one mentoring, Capstone Project, and long-term professional networks, the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® delivers the comprehensive leadership development superintendent leaders need.

Our program focuses on key issues:

  • Transformational Leadership and Visioning
  • Understanding and Developing Effective Board-Superintendent Relations Including Legal Matters
  • Understanding and Ensuring Equity 
  • Navigating Community, State and National Politics 
  • The Impact of Economic Pressures, Budgeting and the Global Pandemic
  • Effective Instructional Leadership and Continuous School and System Improvement 
  • Impactful and Effective Communications including Social Media for All Stakeholders 
  • Serving Effectively as CEO and Education Leader in the District and Community  

Certification programs are offered in the Midwest, East, and West each year and superintendents from any part of the country are welcome to apply for any of the three offerings! Please see the "Frequently Asked Questions" section below for additional information.

  AASA, through the University of La Verne, offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) after successful completion of this program. (As of April 2024)

Applications for the East 2026 program are due by August 31, 2024.

National Superintendents Certification program participants
Superintendents at NCE 2023
Program Details
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who should participate in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®?
Any current early career superintendent who has seven or fewer years of experience as a superintendent or superintendents with additional experience who want to refresh their skill set and re-energize.

2. How large is each cohort?
Each cohort will have approximately 25-30 participants.

3. How is the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® different from other superintendent training programs?

The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® boasts unique features:

A Relevant, Coherent Curriculum - All components of the program are focused on developing the capacity for transformative leadership to improve student achievement. The program will be heavily case-based, with a combination of whole-group, small-group, and individual learning activities in each session. The program was developed by superintendents especially for superintendents to be transformative leaders.  
Experienced, Successful Faculty - The program is taught by a cadre of experienced leaders, with an emphasis on seasoned successful superintendent from school systems, professional education associations, and private sector organizations—all of whom have been highly successful in raising organizational performance and positively affecting organizational culture. The Lead Teachers are superintendents who have made an exceptional impact in their district and often possess national recognition.  
One-to-One Coaching - Cohort members will be matched with sitting, veteran Superintendents or recently retired superintendents as mentors. The mentors serve as critical friends throughout the Program, and most mentors and mentees maintain their professional friendship throughout their careers.
Individual Capstone Projects - Each participant will complete a Capstone Project during the duration of the program. The Capstone is a practitioner-oriented project that will challenge Participants to use their knowledge gained during the Certification Program, current expertise, and work experience to analyze a district issue that requires intervention. Each participant will propose, design, and implement an action plan to address a current leadership issue, challenge, or opportunity in his/her district, to which the mentor and lead teacher will provide guidance and support. Participants are highly encouraged to select a topic that will positively impact how the school district meets the academic, social, and/or environmental needs of students.
Ongoing Support and Connections - Certification Program graduates will become members of a growing, and active, alumni group. AASA supports alumni with opportunities to connect online throughout the year and in person during our National Conference on Education. Additionally, alumni are regularly invited to events and meetings around the nation that address critical education issues. Finally, alumni have developed their own communications and education networks through social media and other electronic media. AASA actively supports and promotes all of these connections.

4. Why the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®?

•    AASA has developed a highly relevant and personalized curriculum that studies critical education issues and opportunities facing school district leaders. 
•    As your national professional organization, AASA brings the best practitioners and highly respected thought leaders to the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®. These leaders are not just presenters for they become a part of the network of colleagues and experts our participants and alumni connect with throughout their careers.
•    Our format of in-person and virtual sessions, work with mentors, Capstone Project, and online work between sessions delivers a highly effective and personalized blended learning environment. Participants are immersed in the type of learning we know to be effective for adults and children alike.

5. How do I apply for the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®?

Complete this application.  With questions contact Amy Sichel at

6. How much will it cost to participate in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®?

The program fee is $6,000 for AASA members and $6,500 for non-members. The fee includes instruction, personalized mentoring for each participant, meeting meals, program materials and all other aspects of the academy over the 20-month period. Through the generosity of our AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® sponsors, AASA is able to include national thought leaders and highly effective superintendent practitioners in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging fees and arrangements.

6. What is the cancellation policy for the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®?

To receive a refund, cancellation requests must be received in writing no less than 14 days prior to a program start. Refunds are not granted for failure to attend, late arrival, unattended events or early departure. AASA is not responsible for weather related cancellations, airfare, hotel or other costs incurred by attendee that are associated with the program. A $100 processing fee applies to all cancellations.


 The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® includes nationally recognized leaders, current and former superintendents as the lead educators, content experts and mentors. The current faculty include:
David Schuler, Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Mort Sherman, Senior Associate Executive Director, Leadership Network, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, Leadership Network, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Amy Sichel, Lead Superintendent, AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® & Superintendent (ret) Abington School District (PA), AASA Past President

Sheldon Berman, Superintendent (ret.), Andover, MA

Elie Brady, Superintendent, Portsmouth Public Schools, VA

Yvonne Brandon, Superintendent (ret), Richmond (VA) Public Schools

Shari Camhi, Superintendent, Baldwin Union Free School District (NY), AASA President   

Nicholas Clement, Superintendent (ret), Flowing Wells (AZ) School District

Robert Copeland, Superintendent (ret) Lower Merion School District (PA)

Gladys Cruz, Superintendent, BOCES (NY)

Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline (WA) Public Schools

Chris Gaines, Superintendent, Mehlville School District (MO), AASA Past President

Thomas Gentzel, former Executive Director, National School Boards Association 

Patricia Greco, Superintendent (ret), School District of Menomonee Falls (WI)

Lupita Hightower, Superintendent, Tolleson Elementary (AZ) School District

Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas (TX) Independent School District

Paul Imhoff, Superintendent , Upper Arlington (OH), AASA Past President

Keith Krueger, Executive Director, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

Ann McMullan Lead Consultant for Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

Steve Murley, Superintendent, Iowa City (IA) Community School District

Noelle Ellerson Ng, Associate Executive Director, Advocacy and Governance, AASA  

Sasha Pudelski, Advocacy Director, AASA

Carla Santorno, Superintendent (ret) Tacoma Public Schools (WA)

Aaron Spence, Superintendent, Loudoun County (VA) Public Schools

Brian Troop, Superintendent, Ephrata Area School District, (PA)

Cheryl Woodshouse, Chief Human Resources Officer, Virginia Beach (VA) City Public Schools

Bridget Weiss, Superintendent, Juneau School District (AK)


The AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® Curriculum includes in-depth investigation through real-world case studies and current issues and events. Each cohort will focus on the following key topics:

  • Gathering the Group and Building Community
  • Ethics and Professional Norms for Superintendents Serving Students of Today and Tomorrow
  • Promoting Equity and Cultural Responsiveness: Building a Shared Vision of Student Achievement and Well Being
  • A Vision for Educational Leadership
  • Superintendent and Board Relations, Policies, and Procedures
  • The Superintendent and the District’s Communication Plan
  • Organizational Culture Building: Promoting a Shared Vision for Quality Teaching and Learning
  • Engaging Families, Businesses, Government Agencies, and the Community
  • The Superintendent as the Instructional Leader: Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction  for a Future Ready Environment
  • The Role of the Superintendent in Promoting the School and System Improvement Process
  • Addressing Social Emotional and Academic Learning; Building a Community of Care and Support for All Students
  • Operations and Management
  • Legislative Advocacy and Culminating Capstone Projects
  • Putting it All Together: Culminating Capstone Projects, Reflections, and Graduation
 Bringing the Network to your Doorstep!

To meet the needs of district leaders across the country, AASA partners with several state affiliate organizations to bring the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program® to you! In addition to the nationwide offerings of this program, AASA also offers a:

  • Minnesota Cohort in collaboration with Minnesota Association of School Administrators
  • Pennsylvania Cohort in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators

Interested in collaborating on an AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®? Contact Amy Sichel, AASA Lead Superintendent.


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