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Administrator Profile

The 100-square-mile rural and suburban DeForest Area School District, located minutes from Madison, Wis., has an unlikely contributor to its work: the DeForest community at large, which through a series of well-planned conventions has been as active as any board member could be in shaping the district’s future goals.

Joel L. Voytoski, veteran superintendent of the Evergreen School District 50 in Kalispell, Mont., has been named the state’s 2009 Superintendent of the Year for his success in morphing programs around student assessments.


In 2006, Secaida D. Howell was nearly the 10th superintendent in as many years to lead Bamberg School District Two in Denmark, S.C. He inherited antiquated policies, teacher certifications falling through the cracks, and waning student achievement.


When Alamo Heights (Texas) Independent School District opened in 1909 as a rural, two-room wooden-frame school, who would have thought that 96 years later its students would become teachers to their own parents?

Certain things are easier to accomplish in a district comprised of only 700 students.

"Here I know most of the kids quite well," says Mary Rubadeau, the nine-year superintendent of the Telluride (Colo.) School District. Known for attending class and student council meetings, luncheons held by extracurricular clubs so she can be a sounding board, and most sporting activities, Rubadeau says, "It's not a usual superintendent relationship. I think they value knowing their superintendent. I have an open door, too, so they always know they can come to ask my opinion."