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Missouri’s Gaines Takes AASA Presidency in Uncontested Run

Chris Gaines, who has worked as a superintendent in three Missouri school systems since 2001, will become president-elect of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, on July 1.

Gaines, superintendent of the Mehlville School District in St. Louis, Mo., was named to the position in a voice vote by the AASA Governing Board at its meeting in New Orleans, La., on Wednesday (March 1) under provisions that allow the body to appoint the next president when there is only one candidate. He is moving into the leadership ranks of the association without an expected election campaign as his one competitor for the presidency withdrew his candidacy in January.

Gaines will assume the presidency of AASA on July 1, 2018, for a one-year term.

In brief remarks to the Governing Board, Gaines thanked the members for the endorsement of his leadership and gave shoutouts to David Schuler, a past president of AASA, and Bob Mills, a Canadian member who formerly served on the AASA Executive Committee, for their support during his previous governance roles.

Gaines has been an AASA member since 2001, the year he first assumed a superintendency. He was a member of the AASA Governing Board from 2008 to 2014 and has served on the AASA Executive Committee since 2014.

Gaines took the top spot in the Mehlville district in 2015. Previously, he was superintendent of the Wright City R-II School District in Wright City, Mo. (2008-20015) and the Crawford County R-1 School District in Bourbon, Mo.

He earned an Ed.D. from Saint Louis University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

In a pre-conference election statement, Gaines explained why he was seeking election as AASA president-elect: “Through AASA I’ve seen firsthand the amazing things school leaders are doing in proficiency-based learning, personalized learning, digital learning, child nutrition, staff development, student discipline, and the list continues. It is our duty as an association to promote and celebrate the accomplishments and innovations happening in our nation’s schools as today’s leaders transform their schools. It is my intent to engage superintendents in an authentic and meaningful way to grow AASA into an even stronger organization for our members. From our Children’s Programs to our leadership programs to our advocacy efforts, AASA leads the way.”

Gaines said his No. 1 priority when he assumes the presidency will be to grow AASA “into an even stronger organization for current and future members through member engagement.”

(By Jay P. Goldman, editor of Conference Daily Online.)

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