The 2010 National Superintendent of the Year ceremony, which commemorates the contributions and guidance of public school superintendents, will be held February 11 at the National Conference on Education in Phoenix. We asked the four finalists what their number-one priority is for 2010.
Joyce C. Levey, superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, Alabama
"Our school system has been in a position of reform and transformation to ensure children continue to be the focus of our daily interactions. Our aspiration is to lay a foundation for this systemic movement by professionally developing our faculty and staff as leaders and to build leadership capacity—authentic leaders that understand their role and responsibility to self, children, families—and a community that understands what must be non-negotiable. Our leaders are change agents."
Elizabeth Morgan superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, Maryland
"Despite budget constraints, I want to maintain the momentum we have achieved in making system improvements and meeting federal and state standards. For 2010, we are increasing student exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), raising the bar for academic rigor, and partnering with others to launch a "civility" project aimed at improving the climate of our schools and community."
Walt Rulffes superintendent of Clark County School District, Nevada
"Producing more and better-prepared graduates is my goal for 2010 and every year. Success is possible when individual student needs are addressed in every grade, parents and children are engaged, appropriate professional development is provided, curriculum is challenging and relevant, and educational opportunities and choices are plentiful."
Cynthia Stevenson superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado
"The number one priority for Jeffco Public Schools in 2010 is, to use our motto, "Building Bright Futures." We intend to commit our hearts to ensuring that every child is challenged every day to excel in academics and to engage in the creative arts and athletics. We intend to reach a 100 percent graduation rate so that every student has great choices for the future."