Superintendent of the Year | 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.

Applications due 8/31 for MASA 2019 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) by August 31. 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 MASA Communications Director Cathy Bacile Cunningham.

The deadline for nominations was Aug. 10, 2018; nominations are no longer being accepted

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: August 31, 2018

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 early October to choose the 2019 MASA Superintendent of the Year.

Step 4: Notification of Winner

The MASA 2019 Superintendent of the Year Award will be presented to the honoree at a school board meeting no later than November 7. MASA will work with the local school board to coordinate the announcement.

Next steps: AASA National Superintendent of the Year

The 2019 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 on December 17 and will travel to Washington, D.C, January for interviews on January 10. The AASA 2019 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced on February 14 at the AASA National Conference on Education.

2018 Michigan Superintendent of the Year: Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift
Ann Arbor Public Schools

“Dr. Swift has been a positive advocate for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, as well as for public education, and I am proud to announce that she has earned the honor of being named Michigan Superintendent of the Year,” MASA Executive Director Chris Wigent said. “She has demonstrated exceptional leadership for her district, adding quality programs, increasing achievement levels for all students, and engaging with staff and parents as well as with local businesses and community organizations in support of all children.”

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Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift, superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools, has earned the award of 2018 Michigan Superintendent of the Year from the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

Dr. Swift’s nomination for the award states:

“Respectfully and on behalf of the Board of Education, the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and our community, we nominate Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift for Superintendent of the Year. Under Dr. Swift’s leadership in the AAPS, exciting new programs have opened in schools, student achievement outcomes continue to improve, enrollment has increased, top-quality arts programming continues to thrive and the AAPS has received a number of national awards for excellence. Dr. Swift is everywhere in our district and community, serving as a tireless advocate for children and for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.”

Dr. Swift joined Ann Arbor Public Schools in 2013. She is a career educator having served as a classroom teacher, teacher coach, principal and school district leader. Dr. Swift previously served in various leadership roles in Colorado Springs School District 11, including as assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and student services and executive director of K-12 schools. Dr. Swift believes that every child deserves to be fully welcomed and embraced at school and receive support to succeed within a rich, exploratory, arts-infused educational experience. She is committed to engaging with the Ann Arbor community to further extend and enhance the excellence for which the Ann Arbor Public Schools has long been known.

Michigan Superintendent of the Year past winners

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 nominations are due on August 10, 2018, no later than 5 p.m.
  • Applications from candidates are due on August 31, 2018, 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 October to choose a winner
  • The winner will be presented the MASA 2019 Superintendent of the Year Award on or before November 7, 2018