Leaders of 2013

In the first edition of what will be its annual Leaders To Learn From report, Education Week highlights innovative achievements of district-level administrators from school systems across the nation. The featured leaders are:

Daniel P. King

Superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Texas: On his watch, the district’s dropout rate has declined by nearly 90 percent with the creation of “early college” high schools, a career academy, and an intensive dropout-recovery effort that sent staff members door to door to bring back dropouts.
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Valeria Silva

Superintendent, St. Paul Public Schools, Minn.: The district’s former director of English-language-learner services, Silva has dramatically transformed its approach to teaching English-learners.
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Mary Ronan

Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools: With guidance from the University of Virginia's school turnaround program, Ronan moved all 16 of her district’s lowest-performing schools out of "academic emergency" status.
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Jonathan Brice

Officer of school support networks, Baltimore City Schools: Brice was the engineer behind Baltimore Superintendent Andres Alonso’s call to rethink the way the city district disciplines its students. The rate of out-of-school suspensions in the district dropped from one in five students to one in eight over three years.
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Austin Obasohan

Superintendent, Duplin County Schools, Kenansville, N.C.: Obasohan is leading efforts to create a districtwide “early college” system in Duplin County and instill college ambitions in students as early as kindergarten.
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Kyle Pace

Instructional technology specialist, Lee’s Summit School District, Mo.: Pace has become an expert at harnessing the power of social media to further teachers’ professional development.
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Cynthia M. Stevenson & Kerrie Dallman

Stevenson (left), superintendent, Jefferson County Public Schools, Colo., and Dallman (right), former president, Jefferson County Education Association: A superintendent and a teachers’ union president share the spotlight for using a collaborative “employee summit” to find $40 million in budget cuts.
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Clark Hults

Superintendent, Newcomb Central School District, N.Y.: Hults revitalized and enriched his rural district by recruiting tuition-paying international students to study there.
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Michele Brooks

Assistant superintendent, office of family and student engagement, Boston Public Schools: Once a disgruntled parent, Brooks now leads the district’s efforts to engage Boston parents in their children’s learning.
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Judy Sorrell

Director, Shenandoah Valley Regional Program for Special Education, Fishersville, Va.: This longtime special educator has been a pioneer in her state in improving services to students with autism spectrum disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
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Dennis Stockdale

Superintendent, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District, Garrett, Ind.: Stockdale has figured out a way for all 1,875 students in his rural district to have either an iPad or a computer, and he’s making wireless access available in students’ homes and after school hours in the community.
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Steve A. Simmons III

Director of transportation, Columbus Public Schools, Ohio: More efficient bus routes and technological devices that allow administrators to keep track of buses and students are among Simmons' achievements.
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Patricia A. Ciccone

Former superintendent, Connecticut Technical High School System: Ciccone brought new attention to school climate issues in her school system by piloting a survey that is now used statewide to take a pulse on how students feel about their schools.
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Jeffrey K. Platenberg

Former assistant superintendent of support services, Loudoun County Public Schools, Va.: During his tenure, the district built 13 new schools, renovated nine, and built five school additions—all while saving money.
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Linda S. Hicks

Superintendent, Battle Creek Public Schools, Mich.: By bolstering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction, Hicks hopes to equip her students to find good jobs with the multinational food manufacturers and research facilities in and near "Cereal City."
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Produced with support from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org