SOY | Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators

MASA presents the Superintendent of the Year Award each year to a superintendent who has shown tremendous effort and dedication to enriching the lives of children and the community as a whole.

The Michigan Superintendent of the Year is recognized for strong leadership, creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students, communication skills, professionalism, community involvement and the success of students that has taken place during their tenure.

Nominations are now being accepted for the MASA 2021 Superintendent of the Year

Nominating your district leader for the MASA Superintendent of the Year Award is an opportunity to highlight exceptional and visionary leadership in public schools. If you believe your superintendent is deserving of this award, it takes just a few minutes to begin this multi-step process, and may lead to national recognition for your community.

Don’t wait to nominate your superintendent — all nominees are required to submit a lengthy application (detailed below). An early nomination will give your superintendent more time to complete it.

Step 1: Nominate Your Superintendent

To nominate your superintendent for this honor, go to and click on “Nominate.” You will be required to register or login with previous credentials. Nominators will be prompted to enter information about their superintendent into a form, and will be asked to answer this question: Please describe why you believe your candidate will be an excellent AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

Nominees will receive an email from AASA detailing the instructions they must follow to accept the nomination and move the process forward; see details below. A confirmation email from AASA also will be sent to nominators. Important note: Spam filters have been known to intercept the email to nominees, therefore it is encouraged for nominators to alert their superintendents that an email should be arriving in their inboxes. If you do not receive an email from AASA, please contact Haley Jones at MASA.

Deadline for nominations: 5 p.m. on August 7, 2020

Step 2: Complete the Application

All nominees must complete an application to be eligible to receive the MASA Superintendent of the Year Award. The application can be found at

The in-depth application asks for professional and education background and district information, as well as details of professional growth that has been exhibited. Additionally, applicants must answer four essay questions on the topics Leadership for Learning, Communication, Professionalism and Community Involvement, submit a bio and submit an introduction video that must not exceed 2 minutes in length.

Deadline for applications: 5 p.m. on August 28, 2020

Step 3: Application Review by Selection Committee

The MASA Superintendent of the Year Selection Committee will review all candidates’ applications in September. The committee will convene in late September to choose the 2021 MASA Superintendent of the Year.

Step 4: Notification of Winner

The MASA 2021 Superintendent of the Year Award will be presented to the honoree at a school board meeting no later than November 1. MASA will work with the local school board to coordinate the announcement.

Next steps: AASA National Superintendent of the Year

The 2021 Michigan Superintendent of the Year will be entered into the running for the AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award. Four national finalists will be notified in December and will travel to Washington, D.C, for interviews in January. The AASA 2021 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced in February at the AASA National Conference on Education.

2020 Michigan Superintendent of the Year: Dr. Robert Shaner
Rochester Community Schools

“Dr. Shaner has proved himself to be an impeccable leader for Rochester Community Schools and I am honored to give him the award of Michigan Superintendent of the Year,” said MASA Executive Director Chris Wigent. “With a focus on bridging the diversity, equity, and inclusion gap, Dr. Shaner is committed to his philosophy: ‘All Means All.’ Under his leadership, the district created a strategic plan to ensure that all students and staff have a high degree of cultural awareness to make sure every person who comes into the district feels welcome.”

Michigan Superintendent of the Year past winners

Dr. Glenn Maleyko, Dearborn Public Schools
Dr. Jeanice Swift, Ann Arbor Public Schools
Dr. Rob Glass, Bloomfield Hills Schools
Dr. Michael Rice, Kalamazoo Public Schools
Yvonne Caamal Canul, Lansing School District
Brian J. Whiston, Dearborn Public Schools
Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, Southfield Public Schools
Dr. Tina Kerr, Coldwater Community Schools
Dr. Brian Davis, Holland Public Schools
Dave Campbell, Olivet Community Schools
Roxanne DeWeerd, Hudsonville Public Schools
Thomas Maridada II, Inkster Public Schools
Robert M. Olsen, Sturgis Public Schools
Paula M. Dawning, Benton Harbor Area Schools
Joan Sergent, Utica Community Schools

Important dates and deadlines

  • Nominations for Superintendent of the Year are due on August 7, 2020, no later than 5 p.m.
  • Applications from candidates are due on August 28, 2020, no later than 5 p.m.
  • Applications will be reviewed in September by the MASA Superintendent of the Year Selection Committee
  • The Superintendent of the Year Selection Committee will convene in September to choose a winner
  • The winner will be presented the MASA 2021 Superintendent of the Year Award on or before November 1, 2020