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Superintendents from Kansas, New York Challenge for AASA Presidency

AASA Presidency Candidates Gladys I. Cruz and Justin B. Henry

A pair of veteran superintendents are seeking to become the president of AASA in 2023–24.  

The two candidates are Gladys I. Cruz, district superintendent of Questar III BOCES in Castleton, N.Y., and Justin B. Henry, superintendent of the Goddard Public Schools in Goddard, Kan.  

The declared candidates will be officially nominated during the AASA Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Omni Hotel, a day before the start of the 2022 AASA National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tenn. 

The two candidates will deliver their first public speeches to voting members at the AASA national conference’s 2nd General Session on Feb. 18. Voting opens that day with digital ballots being sent by e-mail to all members. Voting is possible on any device —  cell phone, tablet, desktop or laptop. Members without e-mail addresses on file with AASA will be mailed their ballots.  

The voting deadline is midnight EST on March 11, and the final tally will be announced by AASA by 4 p.m. EST on March 14. The victor assumes office as president-elect on July 1 and takes over the AASA presidency one year later.  

A one-hour open forum involving the candidates is scheduled at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 in Room 204 of the Music City Center.  

Questions about the election process can be addressed to Kat Sturdevant, advocacy and governance coordinator at AASA, at ksturdevant@aasa.org or 703-875-0739. 

Abbreviated biographies of the candidates follow. 

Gladys I. Cruz 

She is district superintendent of Questar III BOCES in Castleton, N.Y., a post she has held since 2015. An AASA member since 2015, Cruz has been a member of the association’s Executive Committee since 2019. 

Previously, she was chief operating officer and deputy superintendent of Questar III BOCES.  

Postsecondary education: Ph.D., curriculum and instruction, University at Albany, 2000; M.S., curriculum development and instructional technology, University at Albany, 1997; M.A., bilingual education, Universidad del Turabo, Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1994; B.A., Universidad Del Turabo, Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1987 

Professional activities: commissioner, The Learning 2025 Commission: National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, AASA; co-lead teacher, Aspiring Superintendents Academy for Latino and Latina Leaders, 2020 to present; and mentor, AASA Superintendent Certification Program, 2019 to present. 

Justin B. Henry 

He is superintendent of the Goddard Public Schools in Goddard, Kan., a post he assumed in 2011. Henry has been an AASA member since 2007 and a member of the association’s Governing Board since 2015. 

Previously, Henry was superintendent of the Southeast of Saline Public Schools in Gypsum, Kan. 

Postsecondary education: Ed.D., University of Kansas, 2006; M.S., Emporia State University, 2001; B.S., Sterling College, 1997. 

Professional activities: member, AASA’s American Rescue Plan Committee, 2021–22; Kansas Superintendent of the Year, 2021; member, AASA’s COVID-19 Recovery Task, 2020.  

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