Philip Lanoue named 2015 AASA Superintendent of the Year

Winning superintendent announcement made at AASA’s 150th anniversary celebration

superintendent-leaderPhilip Lanoue, superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Athens, Ga., has been named the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

The Febuary 26 announcement came at the National Conference on Education, hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

“To be recognized by your peers is something I honor but more importantly, it’s great recognition for the work being done in our community,” said Lanoue during an interview with AASA last month. “This recognition (as a National Superintendent of the Year finalist) for me is really a recognition for our district, teachers, school leaders, parents, students and all of our community constituencies who have faith in the work we’re doing.”

Under Lanoue’s leadership, the Clarke County School District has been honored as a Title I Distinguished District for being Georgia’s No. 1 large district in closing the achievement gap. The district has received numerous state recognitions as a model technology school district, Georgia’s No. 1 Career Academy and the state’s top award for exceptional Response to Intervention practices.

Next page: Superintendent of the Year finalists

“As we pay tribute to public education at AASA’s 150th anniversary celebration, it’s an honor to congratulate Superintendent Lanoue as our 2015 National Superintendent of the Year,” said Jeff Gilliam, president, Aramark K-12 Education. “We also congratulate the three other finalists as well as all of our State Superintendents of the Year. In their tireless efforts to provide a quality education for students in their respective communities, the individuals we are recognizing today are champions of children. We are proud to be a founding sponsor of AASA’s National Superintendent of the Year program and support those who enrich and nourish the lives of children each and every day.”

“At a time when our school systems are making tremendous efforts to build successful models of positive learning environments for children, VALIC is honored to be part of this important program as we congratulate Superintendent Lanoue as the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year,” said Glenn Harris, executive vice president, group management and national markets, VALIC. “The demands on our superintendents today have never been greater. As we celebrate AASA’s 150th anniversary, it’s only fitting that we honor our National Superintendent of the Year, our three other finalists and all of the State Superintendents of the Year.”

“The superintendent’s job is one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in America, which is why I am so impressed by the tremendous work being done by school system leaders in public education today,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “On behalf of our public school children—no matter what zip code they’re from—it is with great pleasure that our nation congratulates Superintendent Lanoue on our 150th anniversary. We also congratulate our other finalists, Superintendents Elia, Murphy and Pujol, and all of our State Superintendents of the Year. These educators are all winners. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude.”

The other National Superintendent of the Year finalists were:

MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, Fla.
Patrick Murphy, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, Va.
Patrice Pujol, Ascension Public Schools, Donaldsonville, La.

Members of the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award Blue Ribbon Selection Committee included:

Rich Bagin, executive director, National School Public Relations Association, Rockville, Md.
Wanda Cook-Robinson (former National Superintendent of the Year finalist-2013), chief of staff, Oakland Schools, Waterford, Mich.
Jack Dale, superintendent (retired), Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church, Va.
Tom Gentzel, executive director, National School Boards Association, Alexandria, Va.
Patricia Neudecker (past AASA president), education director, MBA in Education Leadership, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Oconomowoc, Wis.
Darline Robles, professor, Clinical Education, University of Southern California, Whittier, Calif.

The AASA National Superintendent of the Year program is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors Canadian and International School superintendents. The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system.
Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.

For more information about AASA’s National Superintendent of the Year program, contact Paula Dearden, AASA director of awards and scholarships, at

Click here to access a list of the AASA 2015 State Superintendents of the Year.

Now in its 28th year, the National Superintendent of the Year program, co-sponsored by AASA, Aramark and VALIC, celebrates the contributions and leadership of public school superintendents.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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