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Russell a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year Print E-mail

maryalice-russell-2.jpgALEXANDRIA, Va. – Oregon Superintendent of the Year Maryalice Russell of McMinnville is one of the four finalists for the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year award, the American Association of School Administrators has announced. The program, co-sponsored by ARAMARK Education, VALIC, and AASA, in its 26th year, honors the leadership and exceptional contributions to education of public school superintendents. AASA will announce the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year on Feb. 21, 2013, at the National Conference on Education in Los Angeles, Calif.


The four finalists for 2013 AASA National Superintendent of the Year are:

• Wanda Cook-Robinson, superintendent, Southfield Public Schools, Southfield, Mich.
• Mark Edwards, superintendent, Mooresville Graded School District, Mooresville, N.C.
• C.J. Huff, superintendent, Joplin Public Schools, Joplin, Mo.
• Maryalice Russell, superintendent, McMinnville School District

Since 2003, Russell has led a number of initiatives to improve student learning, including a comprehensive approach to STEM education that features a FIRST LEGO Robotics team in each elementary school, STEM Summer Camp for girls, a STEM problem-based 90-minute algebra class for all 9th graders, and an Engineering and Aerospace Science Academy. In 2008, Russell initiated a strategic planning process that has guided comprehensive school improvement resulting in gains in student achievement that are significantly above the state average. McMinnville is the only district in Oregon with three schools identified by Oregon Department of Education as Model Schools.

Russell earned an Ed.D. Education from Oregon State University and an Education Leadership Certificate from Lewis and Clark College. She has an M.S. in teaching, an M.S. Ed. in administration, and a B.S. in teaching from Portland State University. Russell and the district have received numerous awards for their work. In addition, Russell plays a leadership role at the state level, where she has participated as a member of the Confederation of Oregon Administrative Funding Coalitions and serves as a governor-appointed commissioner to the Quality Education Commission.

"AASA is honored to present these four outstanding superintendents," said AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech, in announcing their names. "They represent the best in school system leadership today. They and their colleagues are at work daily, transforming schools to meet 21st century standards and to provide quality education for all students."
The four national finalists were chosen from 49 State Superintendent of the Year finalists. The finalists will be at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 8, 2013, where they will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Rich Bagin, Executive Director of the National School Public Relations Association. Also, the finalists will be interviewed by a national blue-ribbon selection panel of educators, businesspeople and government officials.

The annual Superintendent of the Year program is open to all U.S., Canadian, and International School superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. 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.
  • 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 National Superintendent of the Year to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.

The National Superintendent of the Year will receive a jacket emblazoned with the National Superintendent of the Year emblem and, with the three other national finalists, will be recognized at the AASA National Conference on Education on Feb. 21, 2013, during the ceremony announcing the National Superintendent of the Year.

“We would like to congratulate the four Finalists and all of the State winners for their outstanding leadership, achievement and commitment to K-12 education,” said Dennis Maple, President, ARAMARK Education. “As a longtime supporter of AASA, we are pleased to recognize the accomplishments of superintendents throughout the nation who work so diligently to give our children exceptional educational experiences and bright futures.”

"VALIC is proud to join the American Association of School Administrators and ARAMARK Education in sponsoring the 2013 Superintendent of the Year award," said Bruce R. Abrams, President and CEO of VALIC. "The Superintendent of the Year program provides a wonderful opportunity to recognize the important role Superintendents play in our nation's public schools. On behalf of VALIC, I would like to congratulate the 2013 honorees and offer our profound appreciation for their commitment and dedication to supporting our nation's children."

This page was last updated on Tuesday, April 09, 2013 .