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Yonkers Superintendent Michael Yazurlo was born in the city. He also was a teacher and principal in the district. (Photo: Robert F. Rodriguez)

No nonsense, persistent and protective, native son and superintendent Michael Yazurlo strives to move Yonkers, N.Y. schools from a segregated past to brighter future, and transform the culture of one of New York state's “Big 5” largest urban districts.

Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick has brought her Arizona district's state ranking up to fifth out of 227.

Immersing students at Cave Creek USD with foreign language catapulted them above state average test scores. Superintendent Debbi C. Burdick and the governing board launched a world language program that included Spanish and Chinese programs beginning in elementary school.

Katy ISD superintendent Alton L. Frailey was elected 2015-16 president-elect of AASA.

Alton L. Frailey, superintendent of Katy ISD in Texas and president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, was elected 2015-16 president-elect of AASA, and will begin his post in July.

Frailey became Katy ISD chief in 2007, after previously serving as chief of DeSoto ISD in Texas and Cincinnati Public Schools. “AASA champions the efforts to improve the lives” of public school children, Frailey says. “I look forward to advancing the mission in my new role.”

Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools board and Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, on right, work together to gain trust.

Although a strong partnership between school board and superintendent is widely seen as crucial to district success, administrators and the non-educators filling board seats do not always receive training in how a disparate group of individuals becomes an effective team.

Presidio ISD, a remote, Title I, poverty-stricken Texas border district with a 98 percent Hispanic population, didn’t let limited financial resources block its goal of cultivating college-going ambitions among its nearly 1,400 students.

By leveraging a University of Texas partnership and creating a technology-infused community initiative, Superintendent Dennis McEntire and the district offered students remote access to learning opportunities over 200 miles away.

Joseph Davis is currently the superintendent of Washington County Schools in rural Plymouth, North Carolina.

Joseph Davis was named superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District in Missouri in February. He is currently the superintendent of Washington County Schools in rural Plymouth, North Carolina.

Davis will be the second African-American superintendent in Ferguson-Florissant, which came into the national spotlight after the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. The district is in danger of losing its state accreditation for the next academic year due to low test scores.

La Habra City School District Superintendent Susan Belenardo has made fitness a priority.

California’s La Habra City School District, under the leadership of Superintendent Susan Belenardo, motivates its students to get up and moving with several wellness programs that are part of a countywide health and obesity prevention initiative.

Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born created a 24/7 tipline that allows students to report potential threats.

Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born helped create a statewide anonymous tip line for schools that allows students to identify potential threats, such as a student planning to bring a weapon to school. It is now used in more than 820 districts.

Nevada state Sen. Aaron Ford's truancy bill requires students to prove good attendance when applying for a driver's license.

A truancy reduction bill sponsored by Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, became law on Jan. 1, and could keep kids from getting behind the wheel. When a student between 14 and 18 years old applies for a driver’s license, they must now submit a letter from school officials stating that they have met attendance requirements.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has partnered with local businesses to create a multifaceted STEM program.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has worked with his board and administrators, and partnered with local businesses, to create a multifaceted program to bolster STEM education. His city was founded by the U.S. government in 1943 as a secret production site for the Manhattan Project and is steeped in technology to this day.