St. Paul (Minnesota) district superintendent is Superintendent of the Year

Feb. 16, 2024
Joe Gothard, who has led the district since 2017, received the honor for 2024 from the AASA.

The leader of the St. Paul (Minnesota) school district has been named the Superintendent of the Year for 2024 by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Joe Gothard has been superintendent of the 33,000-student St. Paul school system since 2017.

“So many people have supported me throughout my career," said Gothard. "I truly feel it’s recognition of the many people behind the scenes who have made sure that I can be the best that I can be and who continue to support me to this day.”

The recognition for Gothard was announced hours after the union representing St. Paul teachers voted to authorize a strike against the district. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the district has identified unresolved issues with the teachers as “wages, health insurance, and other proposals that have significant costs.” 

The other finalists for Superintendent of the Year recognition were Martha Salazar-Zamora of the Tomball (Texas) Independent School District;  Kimberly Rizzo Saunders of the Contoocook Valley (New Hampshire) School District; and Frederick Williams of the Dublin (Georgia) City Schools.

The applicants were measured against the following criteria:

  • Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system;
  • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication;
  • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team; and
  • Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2024 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® to a student attending the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.

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