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Culminating Stage for ‘22 National Superintendent of the Year Dominated by Finalists from the South

Profile of Gustavo Balderas: From Humble Beginnings to a Professional Pinnacle

Gustavo Balderas, superintendent of Eugene Public School District 4J in western Oregon, is not about to get caught up in the “pobrecito syndrome.” That’s the term he uses to describe the “feel-sorry-for-him-or-her” syndrome. “Kids just want to learn, and you need to have high expectations for all kids,” Balderas says. “You need to love them to death, but we need to have a high bar.”

Champions for Equity to Receive Effie Jones Humanitarian Award

Steven T. Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools, and the late Joe A. Hairston, former associate professor at Howard University and co-founder of the AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy, will be recognized as Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award recipients at the 1st General Session of the AASA national conference in San Diego on Thursday, Feb. 13.

Video: Meet the Finalists for 2020 National Superintendent of the Year (2:17)

Each of the four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year attribute this recognition, in a two-minute video, to the hard work being carried out by educators in their respective school districts. The finalists for the 2020 award are Gustavo Balderas (Eugene School District 4J, Eugene, Ore.); Samantha Fuhrey, Newton County School System (Covington, Ga.); Michael Nagler (Mineola Public Schools, Mineola, N.Y.); and Jeffery Smith (Hampton City Schools, Hampton, Va.). The 2020 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 13, at AASA’s National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif.