NDASA Superintendent of the Year

NDASA Superintendent of the Year Procedures

The NDASA Board adopted the following process:


  • Establish Regional SOY nominating committees made up of the two regional directors and two at-large members appointed by the NDASA president.

  • The Regional Nominating Committees will meet and nominate one candidate and notify the Executive Director of the nomination by May 15th of each year.

  • During July/August, the Executive Director will send applications to the four nominees who will complete the forms and send them to AASA.

  • A State SOY Selection Committee will be established consisting of the NDASA President as chair, a representative of the State School Board Association, and two previous State Superintendents of the Year.

  • The State SOY Selection Committee will make their selection by November 1st of each year and the State SOY must be selected from the pool of the four Regional Superintendents’ of the Year.


AASA National Superintendent of the Year Program


The National Superintendent of the Year Program pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation's public schools. This program is sponsored by ARAMARK Education, ING and AASA.  Established in 1988, this award is bestowed on a superintendent who has demonstrated all-around outstanding leadership.


This program is open to all U.S. public school superintendents and superintendents of American schools abroad who plan to continue in the profession. Anyone may nominate a superintendent for this program. Most often, nominations come from a school board president, parent, community leader or another superintendent.


Nomination & Application
detailed program information including important dates, eligibility and qualifications, review and selection processes, the nomination and applications forms, and the rating form. 


The National Superintendent of the Year presents a $10,000 scholarship to a student in the high school from which he/she graduated. All state and overseas nominees receive a medallion and are honored at AASA's National Conference on Education.

Past Recipients

2021 Justin Fryer
2020 Dr. Mike Bitz
2019 Paula Suda
2018 Dr. Paul Stremick
2017  Rob Lech
2016  Jack Maus
2015    Larry Nybladh  
2014    Steve Hall 
2013    David Flowers
2012    Rick Buresh
2011    Jeff Fastnacht
2010    Mike Bradner
2009    Steve Swiontek
2008    Paul Johnson
2007    Clarke Ranum
2006    Martin Schock
2005    Dean A. Koppelman
2004    Robert Tollefson
2003    Dean U. Koppelman
2002    Joe Lukach
2001    Wilred Volesky
2000    Kent Hjelmstad
1999    Marvin Leidal
1998    Julian Bjornson
1997    Mark Sanford
1996    David Rust
1995    Norm Zielinski
1994    Vern Bennett
1993    Rollie Morud
1992    Hy Schlieve
1991    Lincoln Napton
1989    Mel Olson
1988    David Smette