AASA Honors Veteran Educators for Distinguished Service at Anniversary Celebration


James Minichello

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San Diego, Calif. – Feb. 27, 2015 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, honored five exceptional educators today, including the immediate past president of the association, with Distinguished Service Awards. A ceremony to recognize these individuals was held at AASA’s 150th anniversary celebration at its National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif.

These educational leaders are recognized by AASA for bringing honor to themselves, their colleagues and their profession; rendering exemplary service to their state or national professional association; and contributing to the education field through writing, public advocacy or other activities.

The 2015 recipients are:

Irwin Blumer
Irwin Blumer served 35 years in the education profession as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and finally as superintendent of schools for 16 years in Massachusetts, seven in the Concord and Concord-Carlise School District and nine in the Newton Public Schools. He then went to Boston College to teach in the Lynch School of Education Graduate Program, preparing principals and superintendents. Recognizing the shortage of applicants for superintendent positions, he partnered with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents to transform the doctoral cohort program for practicing administrators to one that focused on preparing future superintendents.

James F. Causby
James F. Causby is one of North Carolina’s most renowned education leaders. He led three school districts to excellence. While superintendent in Johnston County, student achievement improved from the bottom third to the top 10 percent in the state. Causby passed school bond referendums in Swain, Polk and Johnston counties, and served as a consultant on dozens of successful school bond campaigns. He was honored as North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year three times, received the prestigious Jay Robinson Leadership Award and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is North Carolina’s highest civilian award. After 27 years as superintendent, Causby served as executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators for two years and the North Carolina School Superintendents Association for six years.

Steve Rasmussen
Steve Rasmussen has served as an educational leader in the state of Washington for more than 40 years as a teacher and building and central office administrator, including 24 years as a school superintendent. He served as president of the Washington Association of School Administrators, national president of the Horace Mann League and on the AASA Executive Committee (2004–2008). Rasmussen was named Washington State Superintendent of the Year and a National Superintendent of the Year Finalist in 2002.

Amy F. Sichel
Amy F. Sichel
is the superintendent of schools for the Abington School District in Abington, Pa., a position she has held since 2001. She has served in public education for Abington for 39 years, as a counselor, psychologist, central office administrator and assistant superintendent, and for 15 years as superintendent. Sichel served as president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators in 2010–2011 and as president of AASA in 2013–2014. She was named a finalist in the Women in School Leadership Award from AASA and Farmers Insurance in 2012, was the Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year in 2010 and was the recipient of the 2010 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award from eSchool News. Sichel is an adjunct associate professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, a lecturer at Delaware Valley College and a mentor/coach for AASA’s national superintendent certification program..

Lawrence C. Walker
Lawrence C. Walker
has served in educational leadership roles throughout a career that spans five decades. His leadership led Piedmont Community College to construct a facility on the campus of the only high school in the county. Walker collaborated with various stakeholders to build the first Civic Center on public school property in the United States. After serving as superintendent, Walker served as the executive director of the Central Carolina Regional Educational Service Alliance, where he provided leadership and mentored superintendents in the region.

For more information about AASA’s National Conference on Education, click here.


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.