The two superintendents vying for the presidency of AASA got their first chance to make the case for their candidacies during the 2nd General Session of the AASA national conference in San Diego on Friday.
The two contenders – Paul W. Imhoff, superintendent of the Upper Arlington Schools in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and Candace Singh, superintendent of Fallbrook Union Elementary School District in Fallbrook, Calif. – had five minutes each on stage, the same day voting begins among the association’s membership at large.
Imhoff discussed his speech impediment, a stutter, saying that an early diagnosis of a learning disability nearly railroaded his education to a segregated school program. “My parents were told I might work in fast food as a best option.”
Fortunately, he said, his public school educators didn’t buy those limitations.
“I’m a champion of public schooling – a force for changing lives. I know,” he said, indicating that he would carry that theme if elected AASA president.
Singh referenced three principles behind her campaign. She said she would become a bold national voice for all students. She would build wide professional networks and increase AASA membership, and she would inspire more women to enter school system administration and become superintendents.
“I’d bring a hopeful and confident voice,” Singh said.
The election will be conducted online with eligible voting members receiving an e-mail ballot beginning Friday. Members may vote on any device – cell phone, tablet, desktop or laptop. Members without e-mail addresses will be mailed paper ballots.
The election ends on March 6, and results will be announced by AASA on March 9. The victor assumes office as president-elect on July 1 and takes over the presidency one year later.
Imhoff, a member of AASA since 2007, is a current member of the AASA Executive Committee after serving for five years on the AASA Governing Board. Imhoff has led Upper Arlington Schools since 2013. He previously served as superintendent in Mariemont, Ohio, for six years.
Singh, an AASA member since 2011, has been a member of the AASA Executive Committee since 2017. She has led Fallbrook Union Elementary School District since 2011. Singh previously worked as director of instruction in Solana Beach, Calif., for three years.
(Jay P. Goldman is editor of AASA’s Conference Daily Online and School Administrator magazine.)