AASA Launches Task Force to Help Schools Maintain Stability During Pandemic


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – April 30, 2020 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing school system leadership, has launched an advisory panel to provide assistance to district leaders as they grapple with the challenges caused by the coronavirus that has forced the shutdown of tens of thousands of schools across the country.

The AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force will consist largely of superintendents, the nation’s foremost thought leaders in public education.

“As the nation continues to navigate the conditions brought before us by the pandemic, we at AASA want to do all we can to assist superintendents and other administrators in any way possible,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The members of this task force are ALL outstanding leaders of public education and I recognize that their time is valuable. Their help would be immeasurable as we, as a nation, deal with the myriad issues right now and those lying ahead.”

The panel’s kick-off meeting is scheduled to focus on reopening schools effectively during the COVID-19 environment. Topics will include student/staff safety, and online instruction and learning.

“Forty-one states are recommending that schools remain closed for the balance of the academic year, including Georgia, Texas and Florida,” said Domenech. “Some of these states are taking the lead to ‘reopen’ for business. We know, however, that schools will have to reopen eventually and when they do, it will be in an environment where the virus will be present.”

Last month, AASA created an online platform to help its members share communications strategies, resources and ideas, engage with colleagues across the nation and grow professional learning communities. The organization also moved rapidly to begin hosting a series of webinars to provide material to help school districts scale up e-learning and e-collaboration.

“I am proud of the work being done by our superintendents to ensure that: students they serve are receiving an education under the worst circumstances imaginable; students are being fed and the homes they live in have access to online instruction; and students with special needs are receiving the services they need,” added Domenech. “These are mounting issues that need to be addressed. That’s why this task force was created; that’s why it’s vitally important.”

Members of the AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force include:

  • Richard Abernathy, executive director, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators
  • Gustavo Balderas, superintendent, Eugene (Ore.) School District 4J, 2020 National Superintendent of the Year®
  • Morcease Beasley, superintendent, Clayton County (Ga.) Public Schools
  • Kimberley Cantu, superintendent, Mansfield (Texas) Independent School District
  • Sharon Contreras, superintendent, Guilford County (N.C.) Schools
  • Cederick Ellis, superintendent, McComb (Miss.) School District
  • Susan Enfield, superintendent, Highline (Wash.) Public Schools
  • Christopher Gaines, superintendent, Mehlville (Mo.) School District, AASA past president
  • Justin Henry, superintendent, Goddard (Kan.) Public Schools
  • Michael Hinojosa, superintendent, Dallas (Texas) Independent School District
  • Shane Hotchkiss, superintendent, Bermudian Springs (Pa.) School District
  • Paul Imhoff, superintendent, Upper Arlington (Ohio) Schools, AASA president-elect (July 1)
  • Jesus Jara, superintendent, Clark County (Nev.) School District
  • Christine Johns, superintendent, Utica (Mich.) Community Schools
  • John Jungmann, superintendent, Springfield (Mo.) Public Schools
  • Deborah Kerr, superintendent, School District of Brown Deer (Wis.), AASA president
  • M. Ann Levett, superintendent, Savannah-Chatham County (Ga.) Public School System
  • Roberto Padilla, superintendent, Newburgh (N.Y.) Enlarged City School District
  • Lisa Skiles Parady, executive director, Alaska Council of School Administrators
  • Janet Robinson, superintendent, Stratford (Conn.) Public Schools  
  • L. Oliver Robinson, superintendent, Shenendehowa (N.Y.) Central School District
  • Kristi Sandvik, Buckeye (Ariz.) Elementary School District, AASA president-elect
  • Heidi Sipe, superintendent, Umatilla (Ore.) School District
  • Jack Smith, superintendent, Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools  
  • Aaron Spence superintendent, Virginia Beach City (Va.) Public Schools
  • Steve Webb, superintendent, Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools
  • J. Alvin Wilbanks, superintendent, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools. 


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 equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.