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John Ward
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John Ward is beginning his 25th year in education. During his career he has been an elementary science and reading teacher, a bus driver, a principal, and for the past 15 a superintendent. His educational philosophy has always been rooted in the idea that education is about more than what happens inside the four walls of a classroom. In each role he has held,  he has made providing experiences for students one of his main priorities. John believes that education is about more than preparing students for a test; we must prepare them for life.

Community involvement and participation in many organizations, including sitting on several boards, is a vital part of my job. Working in a rural district, I believe that it is especially important for me to be active, not only in my community, but also in organizations at the state level in order to stay abreast of current issues and to give the students and teachers in my district a voice. Additionally, through networking and partnerships, I am able to bring ideas and opportunities for our students back to our district. I believe the time I have spent with organizations like AAA, AAEA, AASA, and APRC has made me the superintendent that I am today.

Past AASA Arkansas Superintendent of the Year Winners:

2020 Arkansas Superintendent of the Year: Benny Weston

2019 Arkansas Superintendent of the Year: Shawn Cook

About the Superintendent of the Year:

As a sponsor of the superintendent of the Year program, First Student wants to recognize these leaders in a special way this year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption that has affected all education systems but also the innovative approaches that the superintendents and school districts addressed through radio, television, zoom and take-home packages. These superintendents are the very best in public  education and are needed more than ever during this crisis.

About the Award:

The superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, The School superintendents Association, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.

State level winners are selected on the following criteria:

  • Leadership for Learning
  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Community Involvement

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