AASA, The School Superintendents Association announced a new video series highlighting women superintendents and their journeys to reach the superintendency. Vinton-Shellsburg Community School Superintendent, Mary Jo Hainstock’s video segment in the series was released earlier this month.
Hainstock has 25+ years experience as an administrator with 18 of those as a superintendent. She has been leading the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School district for the last 10 years.
The video series, Women in School Leadership: Navigating Pathways to the Superintendency, is part of AASA’s More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership Initiative that was launched in 2015. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative is designed to help mitigate the social barriers women face in reaching top leadership positions within our school systems and to increase the number of women seeking and becoming superintendents of schools.
The series provides firsthand accounts of the leadership experiences of nine women superintendents, with special emphasis on the barriers and challenges they faced to advance in their careers. The series was created to serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring women superintendents.
As someone with 18+ years of experience, Hainstock says the keys to success in a complex role like that of school administrator are the ability to build relationships, communicate well and pay attention to the details. Those details include keeping an eye on what is happening in the classroom, the hallways and on the buses just as much as student achievement and district level concerns.
“Creating platforms to showcase the talented women in educational leadership has always been a top priority at AASA,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for partnering with us as we work to tell the stories of these accomplished women superintendents.”
“Women aspiring to top leadership positions in school districts face numerous opportunities and challenges. The path is often filled with twists and turns,” said MaryAnn P. Jobe, director, education and leadership development, AASA. “We couldn’t be prouder of the exceptional women participants involved in this initiative and we are excited to share their stories.”
“Interviewing the nine women and hearing firsthand about their journeys to the superintendency was very inspiring,” said Vera Turner, project manager, Women in School Leadership Initiative. “Their courageous stories offer many life lessons, practical tips and advice that will serve as a helpful guide to not only aspiring women superintendents, but to all aspiring women educational leaders.”
The videos debuted in September, 2018, on the AASA website and ran through November 12, 2018, with a new video released each week. In addition to Hainstock, other superintendents featured in the video series include:
Theresa Alban, Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick, Md.
Debbi Burdick, Cave Creek Unified School District No. 93, Cave Creek, Ariz.
Traci Davis, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev.
Gail Pletnick, Dysart Unified School District, Surprise, Ariz.
Michelle Price, North Central Educational Service District, Wenatchee, Wash.
Ana Riley, Portsmouth School Department, Portsmouth, R.I.
Michele Taylor, Calhoun City Schools, Calhoun, Ga.
Marie Wiles, Guilderland Central School District, Guilderland Center, N.Y.
Hainstock’s video can be viewed on the VSCSD’s youtube channel: https://youtu.be/iiHWPr0lxO4
To access the new video series and other resources that are being made available as part of the AASA’s Women in School Leadership Initiative, visit the AASA website at www.aasa.org/WomenInSchoolLeadershipResources.aspx .
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.