Who is Arizona’s superintendent of the year?

Posted by Ronald | December 12, 2012  |  No Comment

Effective school leaders build strong relationships with all constituents in the organization, as well as use data to drive their decision-making regarding the budget, programs, services and performance of students and employees. Organizations such as the Arizona School Administrators (ASA), Inc. seek to advance the role of administrative leaders by providing training, offering support services and disseminating research on current issues in education to its members.

ASA also recognizes its members based on: (1) relations with the school board, public and community; (2) leadership in curriculum and instruction and management of student activities; (3) short and long term planning; (4) personnel, business and financial management and (5) personal and professional qualities. ASA members serve as a voice in their communities, legislature and in other organizations promoting educational improvements for the benefit of their students and schools.

Based on ASA’s criteria, the critical questions to be asked are: Who is Arizona’s superintendent of the year? What are the accomplishments of superintendent Dr. Denton Santarelli?

Superintendent Dr. Denton Santarelli has been named “All Arizona Superintendent of the Year” for large districts by the Arizona School Administrators Association. Santarelli is the superintendent of the Peoria Unified School District (PUSD), located in the West Valley of Arizona. PUSD serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one alternative school. The vision of the PUSD is, “Every student, every day, prepared to meet tomorrow.”

For more than 31 years, Santarelli has served the PUSD as an educator, assistant principal, principal, K-12 administrator and deputy superintendent. Under his leadership, PUSD has maintained a 93 percent or higher graduation rate over the past four years, labeled an “A” district by the Arizona Department of Education and became the first district in the state to receive international AdvanceED Accreditation.

Other newsworthy accomplishments of Santarelli in line with ASA’s criteria include the establishment of an Electronic School Board system to improve communication with board members, an education-focused TV Show to promote positive relations with government, business and other stakeholders, the creation of a Community Education Forum to allow parents to voice their opinions using Twitter, Facebook and the district’s website, a teacher and principal evaluation tool with a focus on teaching and learning, the movement towards full implementation of the Common Core Standards with the involvement of more than 150 teachers participating in the development of the curriculum frameworks, the development of a 10-year Strategic Plan, the recognition for excellence in fiscal responsibility, the development of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, the external assessment of the district’s facilities for improvement and expansion, the strong rapport with state legislators and the spearheading of the district’s efforts to become a Race to the Top recipient.

According to Hal Borhauer, Peoria Unified’s Governing Board President, “you will find no greater champion for students, parents or staff than Dr. Santarelli. The district’s more than 36,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Santarelli’s leadership and vision in shaping the future of education in the West Valley. We are honored that his leadership and vision have been recognized by other professionals in Arizona.”

We sincerely congratulate superintendent Dr. Denton Santarelli for his stellar contributions and commitment to public education in the West Valley of Arizona and across the nation. Santarelli’s administrative leadership demonstrates he has “talked the talked” and “walked the walked” as an example for others to follow.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of two books, “Education Questions to be Answered” and “Current Issues and Answers in Education.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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