Conference Daily Online

AASA's award-winning newsletter, providing daily coverage of events, photos and video clips of the conference.
Close this search box.

Trio of Education Leaders to Receive Distinguished Service Honors at AASA’s 2024 National Conference

Three individuals will be recognized with AASA’s Distinguished Service Award during the 2nd General Session of the association’s 2024 National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 16.

The three honorees are:

  • Shari L. Camhi, of Mehlville, N.Y., serves as the superintendent of Baldwin Union Free School District in New York and the immediate past president of AASA. With more than 30 years’ experience in both business and education, Camhi has received numerous accolades and recognition for her innovative contributions to K-12 instruction, including Education Week’s “Leaders to Learn From,” the National School Public Relations Association’s “New Superintendents to Watch” and Education Dive’s “Administrators to Watch.” She was also a recipient of the International Society of Technology in Education’s Sylvia Charp Award. She is frequently invited to present her work to experts and leaders in the field. In the spring of 2022, Baldwin Schools was named an AASA Learning 2025 Lighthouse Demonstration System for its efforts to focus on the whole child and future-driven education.
  • Blaine C. Hess, of Ripley, W.Va., a public school educator for 39 years, retired in July 2022 after serving as superintendent Jackson County (W.Va.) Schools, a position he held for 16 years. Hess was named West Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year in 2013 and 2021, as well as 2017 Superintendent of the Year by the West Virginia Music Educators Association for his support of the arts. Hess served as president of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators in 2012 and 2020. He was a member of the AASA Governing Board from 2015 to 2019 and served on the organization’s executive committee from 2019 until his retirement in 2022.
  • Mark Joraanstad, of Peoria, Ariz., retired after six years as executive director of the Arizona School Administrators, completing 50 years in education. He served eight years as superintendent of Saddle Mountain (Ariz.) Unified School District, leading the district out of receivership and through successful bond and override elections. A member of the North Dakota Speech/Theatre Hall of Fame, Joraanstad authored the national debate topic in 1987-88. In 2015, he was named All-Arizona Superintendent of the Year for medium-sized districts.

“The individuals we are honoring all have outstanding track records on behalf of one of America’s most trusted resources—public education,” said David R. Schuler, executive director, AASA, in an AASA press release. “Shari Camhi, Blaine Hess and Mark Joraanstad have been dedicated professionals throughout their professional careers while ensuring the students they serve receive a solid education and foundation to become productive citizens in later life. AASA is honored to recognize these three champions during our national conference. We owe a debt of gratitude to them for the stellar work they have done and continue to do for the betterment of public schools in their own communities as well as across the country.”

Retired members of AASA may be nominated by colleagues for the Distinguished Service Award. The immediate past president of the association also is recognized with an award.

Share this story
Related Posts