AASA Launches Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino, Latina Leaders


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

AASA continues its commitment to serving and supporting underrepresented leaders

Alexandria, Va. – January 21, 2021 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is proud to launch the Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino and Latina Leaders, personalized to provide the real-world skills a next generation Latino/a superintendent will need to thrive.

“The Hispanic student population is the fastest-growing population in the country. Yet, only 2 percent of our school district leaders are Hispanics,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We, as ambassadors of public education, need to support and prepare the Hispanic leaders who are seeking top-level education administration positions.”

Members of the academy will engage in a yearlong professional learning experience with an insightful blend of theory and practice through in-person sessions (if feasible), online webinars and a virtual platform administered by highly skilled, nationally recognized Latino and Latina educational leaders and mentors.

Superintendents Gladys Cruz (Questar III BOCES, Castleton, N.Y.) and Lupita Hightower (Tolleson Elementary School District, Tolleson, Ariz.) will serve as lead teachers in the program.

“Superintendent Hightower and I have had struggles ourselves—quite similar to many of the Latinos and Latinas who are leading our school districts today,” said Cruz. “We have a student population that is extremely diverse. We need more women and men to represent the young people who look like them—so these students can aspire to become leaders in generations to come.”

“I can’t think of a better way to bolster the leadership of public education, especially during these uncertain times,” said Hightower. “Our country needs to bring more learning and growing opportunities for outstanding underrepresented leaders who are striving to advance their careers on behalf of the students they serve.” 

The program includes a number of modules and focus areas, including: 
  • Knowing Yourself and Your Leadership Strengths and Areas of Growth
  • Leading for Equity with Urgency: Unique Challenges Facing Latino and Latina Superintendents in Confronting Bias, Limited Access and Opportunity, and Inherent Structural Inequities.

The program kicks off with virtual meetings scheduled for January 22-23, 2021. Juana Bordas, who immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua, will serve as keynote speaker. She is the author of The Power of Latino Leadership, winner of the prestigious 2013 Nautilus Prize for best multicultural book and the International Latino Book Award for best leadership book. Bordas’ best-selling book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age is considered the seminal work on multicultural leadership.

For additional information about the Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino and Latina Leaders, visit the AASA website.  Superintendents and other educators can also contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, Leadership Network, at msherman@aasa.org,  Gail Pletnick, lead superintendent, at gpletnick@aasa.org, or Debbie Magee, program director, at dmagee@aasa.org.

To join the conversation via social media, access #AASAlíderes on Twitter.


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.