Live Well, Lead Well




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  • Wellness Center at the 2022 National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tenn.
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  • Inspirational Stories of Hope Coming Soon


Thankful for YOU
School leaders make an immense impact on many lives every single day. Below are just a few of the countless stories of gratitude from AASA staff members for our nation's champions of children.

Thank You, School Leaders!

"One of my favorite things about superintendents is how few of them started out wanting to be a superintendent. They started as educators at heart,  reached into administration as they saw an opportunity or a need for leadership, and stepped up to answer that call. It's that type of response—leaning into the need—that makes working with and for superintendents so special. And in the context of the last 20 months, where the pressures were exponential, it was amazing to see grace under pressure and the ability to evolve as our understanding of COVID shifted and changed."

"When I started working at AASA I knew very little about the job of a superintendent. I just kind of assumed public education and those involved meant teachers, principals, parents and students. Over the past 20 years as an AASA staff member, I’ve grown to appreciate just how much a superintendent does to positively impact not only the staff in their district, but parents, students and their overall community alike. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many of them over the years and one thing is clear: All of them have an incredible dedication to educating and helping kids. So many of them have expressed that they knew it was “their calling”. They began as a teacher and moved into a leadership role because they saw the impact being a superintendent could have. I think what they do is incredible. And I am humbled to be able to support them through the work we do at AASA."

Ann Levett, superintendent, Savannah-Chatham Schools

Ann Levett's steadfast focus on providing access and opportunity for all students to be aware of, strive toward, and attain meaningful post secondary options has resulted in >90% graduation rate with a plethora of apprenticeships and other job-embedded experiences. Savannah's youth are empowered to strive toward viable careers through the work of Dr. Levett and her team. 

Doug Wheeler, superintendent, College Community School District (IA)

Doug and his district team at College Community School District (enrollment ~5,800) hosted a virtual site visit including students and staff to share their work for students in their district with the Redefining Ready! cohort. While still in the early stages of their work, the team and students shared the differences and the impact their work is having for the students and the teachers. A number of students shared their stories via videos on-site in their chosen areas of interest including building homes (several pathways/careers presented) and harvesting seeds/food.  

Marlon Styles, superintendent, Middletown City School District (OH)

Marlon Styles and his team in Middletown City School District (enrollment ~6,200) is doing an amazing job highlighting student voice in his district and beyond. Marlon and his team hosted a day and a half virtual site visits for the Transformational Leadership Consortium which involved a significant number of staff and students sharing information and the work they have been doing. Additionally, Marlon and his students were instrumental in hosting (in partnership with many including Digital Promise & AASA) the Students for Equitable Education (SEE) Summit - a conference organized and run by students for educators from across the country.  

Heidi Sipe, superintendent, Umatilla School District (OR)

Heidi is an amazing superintendent and person. She is a fierce and powerful advocate for children across Oregon and in particular in her small, high-poverty district, and somehow never hesitates to take on more work, step up as a leader, or come to the aid of a friend or colleague despite the other demands she has.

Susan Enfield, superintendent, Highline Public Schools (WA)

I cannot think of one person who doesn't admire the work that Susan Enfield has done in her district which sits just outside of Seattle, Wash. It was a pleasure to attend the Digital Consortium a few years ago in which her district hosted. During a visit to one high school, there were Boeing 747 jet planes in the parking lot. At this school, scores of students are studying aeronautics and will someday become airline pilots, mechanics, etc. When I received media requests from journalists, I know they were always get a good story by interviewing Susan. 
Jay Curtis, superintendent, Schools in Park County School District One (WY)
I admire that Jay doesn't take himself too seriously and despite his many accomplishments as superintendent never fails to be humble and compassionate to those he knows and to those with whom he disagrees. He's just the kind of leader you would want to have in a divisive educational and political environment. He knows the value of lowering the temperature, finding common ground and staying both principled and good-humored.  


Daniel D. Curry, superintendent, Calvert County Public Schools (MD)

Despite how busy he is, Dan always offers to help provide feedback on a policy issue or answer a question. And after my second baby was born he even sent a Calvert County Public Schools onesie to me, so my youngest could help share the good news about all the great things happening in his district.
Luvelle Brown, superintendent, Ithaca City School District (NY)

Author of the "Culture of Love," Luvelle is the co-chair of AASA's Equity in Action Cohort. He is the superintendent of New York's Ithaca City School District. I met him in 2019 when he was a keynote speaker at AASA's SEL Cohort meeting. In short, he was amazing. "I survived that dirt road," he said. Born in 1974, he grew up on a dirt road in central Virginia. Nearly a dozen other African American boys were also born in the same rural neighborhood. Of the nearly dozen, Luvelle is only one alive today. "I survived high school because I became strategically compliant," he said. "I'm only here because of the love I received at home. That magic allowed me to survive situations that involved young people who looked like me who were growing up in poverty who didn't survive." 


Rodney Shotwell, superintendent, Rockingham County Schools (VA)

is a uniquely charismatic, kind leader who genuinely takes the time to get to know people (whether they're a U.S. Senator or a new AASA hire) and connect. He understands that strong relationships are the most important way to propel change and to be successful and whether it's dropping a handwritten note congratulating someone on the birth of their child or leaving a long voicemail about a bill that passed, he manages to prioritize connecting and building relationships even if it means longer nights and days away from his own family.  
katrise2.jpgKatrise Perera, superintendent, Lancaster Independent School District (OR)
Susan Enfield, superintendent, Highline Public Schools (WA)

I admire many AASA superintendent members for their love and dedication to public schools, children and their communities. I especially wish to highlight Katrise Perera and Susan Enfield for their exemplary women leadership nationwide. I had the privilege to work with both of them in the Social Media Lounge at various National Conferences on Education, and I have always admired their knowledge, expertise and willingness to support other leaders like them. 

Have a story of appreciation for a school leader? Show your support and submit your story here.

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We Want to Hear from You
What more can AASA do to support you? What types resources would you like to see? Have any advice for other school leaders?
Submit your feedback here