Shawnee Superintendent Selected for 2018 AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium
May 11, 2018



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Shawnee Superintendent Selected for 2018 AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium


Alexandria, Va. – May 10, 2018 – April Grace, superintendent for Shawnee Public Schools, is one of 20 women superintendents and five successful women leaders from the nonprofit community selected to participate in the 2018 AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium.


Established in 2016 by The School Superintendents Association as part of the Women in School Leadership Initiative, the Consortium is designed to bring together successful women leaders to identify and address barriers women face when aspiring to top leadership positions in K-12 education.


“If we’re serious about improving public education and raising academic outcomes, we need to create pathways and build new strategies for women educators who are seeking to excel in education administration,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We are excited about this program. I applaud the outstanding women leaders who will comprise the 2018 National Women’s Leadership Consortium.”


Pam Deering, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators and the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, said Grace is actively involved on the OASA Executive Committee . “April will do a great job representing women and school leadership on the national level,” she said. “We are extremely proud that AASA has chosen her for the Consortium.”


AASA has partnered with Horace Mann to relaunch the Consortium in 2018, providing new opportunities for more women leaders to participate. With the relaunch, the Consortium has increased in size from 10 to 25 members.


“Horace Mann is proud to join AASA to recognize the outstanding achievements women are making in public education,” said Marita Zuraitis, president and chief executive officer, Horace Mann. “A quality education is paramount in shaping our children’s future, which is why this program is critically important. We applaud the female educators who will participate in the 2018 AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium.” 

“I am proud to see the advances women are making when it comes to securing cabinet-level positions in our school districts,” said MaryAnn P. Jobe, director, leadership and education, AASA. “We are grateful to Horace Mann for supporting a program designed to create a nationwide movement focused on issues of leadership equality.” 


Other members of the 2018 National Women’s Leadership Consortium include the following:


  • Sara Boucek, associate director, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Springfield, Illinois
  • Rhonda Caldwell, deputy director, Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Wanda Cook-Robinson, superintendent, Oakland Schools, Waterford, Michigan
  • Talisa L. Dixon, superintendent Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, University Heights, Ohio
  • Kathryn Hawes, superintendent, Regional School Unit 21, Kennebunk, Maine
  • Marnie Hazelton, superintendent, Roosevelt Union School District, Freeport, New York
  • Catherine Huber, superintendent, Alexander Central School District, Alexander, New York
  • Crystal Johnson, superintendent, Rossville-Alvin Community Unit School District 7, Rossville, Illinois
  • Melissa Kaczkowski, superintendent, Roselle School District 12, Roselle, Illinois
  • Stephanie Maney-Hartlaub, leadership development director, Schools That Can Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Julie M. Marlette, director, governmental relations, New York State School Boards Association, Latham, New York
  • Kristine McDuffy, superintendent, Edmonds School District, Lynnwood, Washington
  • Lory D. Morrow, superintendent, Lincoln County School District, Lincolnton, North Carolina
  • Michelle Mrakovich-Kalish, superintendent, Newbury Local School District, Newbury, Ohio
  • Lesli C. Myers, superintendent, Brockport Central School District, Brockport, New York
  • Meredith Nadeau, superintendent, Newmarket School District (SAU31), Newmarket, New Hampshire
  • Courtney L. Orzel, superintendent, Lemont-Bromberek School District 113A, Lemont, Illinois
  • Theresa R. Rouse, superintendent, Joliet Public Schools District 86, Joliet, Illinois
  • Dawn A.  Santiago-Marullo, superintendent, Victor Central School District, Victor, New York
  • Michelle Saylor superintendent, Bellefonte Area School District, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
  • Joanne Shelmidine, superintendent, New York Mills Union Free School District, New York Mills, New York
  • Ronna Steel, superintendent, Hillsdale County Intermediate School District, Hillsdale, Michigan
  • Sue Townsend, superintendent, Rankin Co School District, Brandon, Mississippi
  • Cynthia Walker, director of member development, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Columbus, Ohio


For more details on the National Women’s Leadership Consortium and other resources that are being made available to the K-12 education community as part of the Women in School Leadership Initiative, visit the AASA Website.