AASA Names 2020 Women in School Leadership Award Finalists

 Superintendent Category  

Enfield Susan Enfield

Knowing every student by name, strength and need is the promise of Highline Public Schools. Under the leadership of Susan Enfield the district is delivering on this promise by implementing a bold strategic plan committed to ensuring that students graduate bilingual, biliterate with the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the future they choose.

A former high school English, journalism and ELL teacher, Susan served as Chief Academic Officer and then as Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before coming to Highline in 2012. She previously held leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools (Vancouver, WA), Portland Public Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Susan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned master’s degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.


Goffney LaTonya Goffney

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Aldine Independent School District. Since taking the helm in July 2018, Dr. Goffney has dedicated herself to more than 67,000 students and more than 9,000 employees of the district as well as the entire Aldine community.

She has increased student achievement in every district she’s served in through a focus on literacy, targeted professional development for teachers, and collaboration across the community, including developing business and school partnerships, parent engagement and communication.

In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Goffney was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards in 2017, and the Texas Association of School Administrators selected her to be the Texas nominee for the 2018 American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year award.

A native of Coldspring, Texas, Dr. Goffney is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s in educational administration and a doctorate in educational leadership. She served as superintendent of schools for both Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD and Lufkin ISD before becoming Superintendent of Aldine ISD.


Candace Candace Singh

Dr. Candace Singh is the Superintendent of the award-winning Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (CA), nationally recognized for its work in creating an innovative and forward-thinking leadership culture that encourages and teaches children to be the leader of their own lives and to use their leadership skills to make a difference in the lives of others. Under the leadership of Dr. Singh, FUESD has undergone an academic and cultural transformation that has resulted in the highest growth in student achievement in the district’s history.

As an educator in San Diego County for close to 30 years, Candace is well-known and respected for her work as a turnaround principal and superintendent, blending courage, action, and exceptionally high expectations with grace, respect, and kindness to create schools and working environments that inspire greatness in students and adults. Her proven track record of transforming public schools has contributed to her reputation as a highly valued leadership coach, speaker, and consultant.

Candace began her career in public education in 1985, serving as an elementary and middle level teacher, assistant principal, principal, district curriculum leader, and now, superintendent of schools. She also serves as an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at California State University San Marcos, inspiring and preparing future school leaders to develop cultures and systems that contribute to higher levels of academic and personal achievement for all students.

As the first college graduate in her family, Candace holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from San Diego State University and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She earned her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, where she studied district leadership practices that contribute to principal effectiveness and job satisfaction.



Central-Office Administrator/Principal
Award Category



Sarah Paul Sara Paul

Sara Paul serves as the Assistant Superintendent for the White Bear Lake Area School District in Minnesota. Establishing quality programs through partnerships has been a key theme throughout Sara’s career. She received the Ethical Leadership Award from the William and Betty McMillan Foundation for an innovative program she developed in partnership with the Rotary Club and a renowned Federal Prosecutor. Convicted white-collar felons and respected business leaders were brought in to share their stories so that students could better understand the impact small decisions. Her leadership in this program grew into the opportunity to start a non-profit, Partnering for Youth, where she served as the Executive Director.

She then served as an Assistant Superintendent for Minneapolis Public Schools where she worked with a local community college to start an innovative program called Destination Diploma to Degree, a program that allowed students behind in credits to complete one year of their two year degree before graduating from high school.

Sara is in her sixth year serving as the Assistant Superintendent for the White Bear Lake Area Schools. She is committed to increasing access to innovative programs in order to equip today’s students with the skills to thrive in tomorrow’s world. Indicators of success include:

1-Access to rigorous courses has increased: The number of college level courses available to students while in high school increased from 33 courses to 51 courses. Participation gaps have been eliminated in three previously under represented groups, with overall participation from underrepresented groups increasing from 27% to 52%. In addition, students needing remedial at the local community college when entering college decreased from 35% to 17%.
2-Working with industry partners, five pathways have been launched: Manufacturing, Construction, IT, Health Care and Automotive. Over 1,900 students have been engaged in career exposure and paid internship opportunities.
3-Teaming with the Chamber of Commerce, over ten community partners are creating the conditions to learn together how emerging transportation technologies can increase access to opportunities throughout the community, particularly for people with disabilities and the elderly. Students have the opportunity to learn and lead as equals on the project.

Sara has been married to her husband Marc for 22 years, and they have three amazing children- Clara, Sally and Bryce.


 reggianiShelly Reggiani

Shelly L. Reggiani, Ed. D., has over 25 distinguished years in public education, the past eight years as the Executive Director of Equity and Instructional Services for the North Clackamas School District (NCSD). This south suburban Portland district consists of 32 schools serving 17,327 students. There are more than 60 native languages spoken by students and families in the district, and the community is growing in its racial and cultural diversity. NCSD is continually recognized for its work with educational equity within Oregon and nationally.

Shelly has served the students of NCSD since she began teaching in 1994, and has consistently worked for inclusion and to remove barriers for historically marginalized student populations. As a second-year teacher, she partnered with colleagues to design and implement a model of instruction that connected students to authentic learning in highly engaging ways. This innovative model of instruction focused on college and career readiness and produced outstanding student results. Additionally, the model received regional recognition, Shelly presented it at the National Autodesk Foundation Conference in the mid-’90s and advised the Honolulu School District on implementing this method.

As a middle school assistant principal from 1999-2004, Shelly worked collaboratively with staff in embracing new service models that emphasized the inclusion of students with disabilities. Shelly served as an elementary principal at both Title 1 and non-Title 1 elementary schools and earned the State’s highest award for academic achievement in schools for two consecutive years. During that time, Shelly helped the school community transition through a construction bond and opening the state’s largest elementary school at the time.

In 2010, she became the Director of Services for English Learners and Interpretation and Translation Services. Next, she was promoted to Executive Director of Equity and Instructional Services, where she oversees and supports all federal Title educational programs, Talented and Gifted Education, Bilingual Education, Counseling and Social Services, Title IX coordination, culturally specific community engagement, and equity professional development within NCSD. Advocacy is at the heart of Shelly’s leadership and her work.

Under Shelly’s leadership, NCSD transformed its dual language immersion program from a K-6 program to a K-12 program and opened the district’s third Spanish Dual Language Immersion site. Shelly built a solid foundation for Talented and Gifted services and has focused on ensuring diverse student populations are screened and identified as talented and gifted at the same rate as their dominant culture peers.

A frequent presenter at state and regional conferences on inclusive practices for academic English language development in the classroom and cultivating equity, Shelly shares her learning and experiences with other educational and community leaders. Shelly supports the development of future success of the school district by mentoring teacher leaders and assistant administrators in navigating the path to becoming a building principal or department administrator. Additionally, Shelly continues the support and growth of pre-service teachers in becoming equity-focused educators through her work as an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark College where she has taught courses in English as a Second or Other Language within the department of education and initial administrative licensure, and serves as a mentor to new principals through Portland State University.

Shelly is a member of and held leadership roles in many civic organizations including the Clackamas Rotary where she has been a member for over 15 years. She currently serves on the board of the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators, the Equity Advisory Council for COSA, (the Oregon School Administrators Association), co-leader and facilitator of the Oregon Equity Directors Network, and serves as a design team member and facilitator for All:Ready, the regional Kindergarten readiness network that serves multiple counties in Oregon. Shelly also serves the Oregon Graduation and Post Secondary Leadership Team, and at the request of the Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Education, she is a member of the Oregon Emergent Bilingual Summit Stakeholder group.

A native Oregonian, Shelly graduated from West Linn High School, attended Oregon State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and her Master’s of Teaching. She later received her administrative certifications from Portland State University and George Fox University, and then earned her Doctorate of Education from George Fox University.

Shelly has been married to her husband Michael for over 25 years. They have one daughter, Sophia, who is an NCSD graduate, and a son, Nicholas, who is a current NCSD sophomore. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, photography, gardening, and volunteering with local civic organizations.


Kowalski Patricia Sullivan-Kowalski

Patricia Sullivan-Kowalski has been an educational and instructional leader in urban education for over 23 years. She is currently the Senior Director of Student Supports and Special Education for the Meriden Public Schools, Meriden Connecticut. Patricia successfully balances numerous responsibilities and demands, while maintaining a student centered approach. She oversees and manages a $30 million budget, she leads multiple student programs and departments. Patricia supervises over 300 certified and classified staff members and recently became the lead supervisor for the two middle school principals. Patricia is dedicated to students of all ages and all abilities, and her commitment to championing equity, community and innovation is evident through her work and vision. Patricia has led her district to international recognition by having innovative programs recognized and highlighted through the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia, as well as Global HundrED innovations. Patricia shares her expertise through statewide presentations as well as publications. In addition to her passion and advocacy for all children, Patricia is a mother of 3, a wife, and soccer enthusiast. @SullivanKowalsk


School Based Category  



Bruinton Lesley Bruinton

Lesley Bruinton is an Accredited in Public Relations practitioner with more than 18 years of professional experience. The former television journalist now serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Tuscaloosa City (Ala.) Schools--an urban district with more than 10,000 students. It’s a job where she can continue her craft of writing with her rapid-fire typing skills. She can usually be found brainstorming and selling a big idea, much to the chagrin of those around her who know it will be a lot of work, but a lot of fun! She is a two-time past president of the Alabama School Public Relations Association, and a two-time Gold Medallion winner awarded by the National School Public Relations Association.

Bruinton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Information Sciences (Telecommunication and Film) from The University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication from Troy University. She presently holds the post of NSPRA President Elect and will serve as President in 2020.


Holloway Shenee Holloway

Shenée Holloway is an educational leader and has been in the field of education since 2002. She taught middle grades at a small private academy for two years in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Georgia in 2004 where she taught 6th and 8th-grade language arts at Hull Middle School in Duluth. It was at Hull where Shenée served as a mentor, the language arts department chair and by the school year of 2012-2013, was awarded Teacher of the Year. In the school year of 2013-2014, Shenée was recruited and hired as a 9th-grade language arts teacher for Duluth High School serving as the course team leader for the 9th-grade language arts teachers. After three years, her principal offered her a new position as Parent Instructional Coordinator to aid in the transition of becoming a Title I School. It was while in this position that Shenée became an even bigger advocate for families and students by initiating the school’s first freshman mentoring program, launched the school’s first parent center and hosted several workshops and events for the school’s growing community. Shenée currently works in the office of Federal and Special Programs as a Progam Specialist, serving the district's Title I Schools for the Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Shenée Holloway, formally, Shenée Johnson, earned her bachelor’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL in 1998. Shenée later graduated with top honors with a master of arts in teaching secondary English Education in 2009, and a master of educational leadership in 2019, both from Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. She has broadened her reach within the community by participating and graduating from the City of Duluth’s LEAD program, a program to empower citizens as leaders in the Duluth community. Additionally, Shenée is a member of the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement, and the Norcross-Duluth Chapter of the Kiwanis Club. She is an active member of the Duluth community serving as a volunteer in the city’s annual Fall Festival, the Coleman Middle School Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA), the Gwinnett County Public Schools Parent Advisory Council.

Shenée, originally from Tallahassee, FL resides in Duluth, GA with her teen-aged daughter, her identical twin sister, who is also an educator, and her "tween-aged" niece. A choir director, and worship leader on the weekends, she considers herself a public servant and his currently working to rename Coleman Middle School in order for the school’s name to reflect the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) specialty that it embodies. Shenée also plans to further her education by pursuing a specialist degree in educational leadership in the spring of 2020, while continuing her work to advocate for mentorship to freshmen transitioning to high school.