People Watch

School Administrator, April 2017

Valerie Henning-Piedmonte
In her 23rd year as an educator, Valerie Henning-Piedmonte has been named superintendent of the Brewster, N.Y., Central School District. She started in Brewster in 2013 as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, then moved up two years later to deputy superintendent. Earlier, Henning-Piedmonte worked in Clarkstown, N.Y., as an assistant superintendent. She began as a reading teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y., and later served as a principal in Uniondale, N.Y. A member of AASA since 2011, Henning-Piedmonte completed her doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University, in curriculum and teaching.

Deborah Holcomb
The new superintendent in the North Beach School District in Ocean Shores, Wash., is Deborah Holcomb, who has been a Washington state educator since 1979. Most recently, Holcomb was executive director of inclusive education in the Highline Public Schools, where she also had worked as a principal of two elementary schools. Previously, Holcomb was a principal in the Shoreline district and a teacher and technology coordinator in the Bainbridge Island system for nearly 20 years. She became a member of AASA in 2016.

Melinda Moss
After seven years as superintendent in Harrison, Ark., Melinda Moss has accepted the top berth in Joplin, Mo. Moss earlier spent three years as assistant superintendent in Harrison and served on the Arkansas Commissioner of Education’s Advisory Committee. She was a special education teacher in Republic at the Green County Cooperative and a guidance counselor in the Spokane and Springfield school systems, all in Missouri. An AASA member since 2010, she earned her doctorate in educational leadership from St. Louis University.

Michelle R. Price
The 8,300-student Moses Lake, Wash., School District is saying farewell to Michelle Price, its superintendent of eight years. She becomes superintendent of the North Central Educational Service District, serving four counties in Washington on July 1. Price spent 22 years in Moses Lake, including assignments as assistant superintendent and elementary principal. She earlier worked as a principal in Soap Lake, Wash., and a special education teacher in two school districts. An AASA member for 10 years and an AASA Executive Committee member since 2015, Price received a doctorate in educational leadership from Washington State University.

Stan R. Rounds
The new executive director of the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders and the New Mexico Superintendents Association in Albuquerque, an AASA state affiliate, is New Mexico native Stan Rounds. He has spent the entirety of his 44-year career in school-related jobs in New Mexico. His leadership assignments have included a 9½-year tenure as superintendent of the Las Cruces, N.M., Public Schools and his first superintendency, starting in 1983, in Des Moines, N.M. Rounds became a member of AASA in 1996.

Clayton Wilcox
A 16-year veteran of the superintendency has assumed the top district berth of North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools. Clayton Wilcox most recently served as superintendent in Washington County, Md., for 5½ years. Previously, he was superintendent in Pinellas County, Fla., and East Baton Rouge, La., and a principal in Waterloo, Iowa. Wilcox also worked three years with Scholastic in New York City. He joined AASA in 2011 and earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University.


Dennis Carter, from interim superintendent to superintendent, Smyth County Schools, Marion, Va.
Denise L. Clemons, from superintendent, Gardner, Mass., to superintendent, Torrington, Conn.
Lisette Estrella-Henderson, from associate superintendent to superintendent, Solano County, Calif.
Rory Gesch, from superintendent, Navasota, Texas, to assistant superintendent, Alvin, Texas
Jose Gonzalez, from interim superintendent to superintendent, McAllen, Texas
Bary Habrock, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Elkhorn, Neb.
Josh Meek, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Moses Lake, Wash.
Teresa Murphy, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Mansfield, Mass.
Michael Raso, from interim superintendent to superintendent, Bettendorf, Iowa
Ryder Warren, from superintendent, Midland, Texas, to superintendent, Northwest ISD, Fort Worth, Texas

Steve Baker, superintendent, Elkhorn, Neb.
Zeffro Gianetti, superintendent, Mansfield, Mass.
Tom Kimbrell, superintendent, Bryant, Ark.
Emily Lembeck, superintendent, Marietta, Ga.
Katherine Sipala, superintendent, Narragansett, R.I.
Linda Yonke, superintendent, New Trier Township District 203, Winnetka, Ill.

Steve Adolph, 60, retired superintendent, Tempe Union High School District, Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 8
Robert “Bob” Blackburn, 81, retired superintendent, Oakland, Calif., Sept. 10
Joseph J. Blaney, 87, former executive deputy commissioner, New York State Education Department, Albany, N.Y., Aug. 12 
Roger Burnett, 72, retired superintendent, Anderson School District 2, Honea Path, S.C., Jan. 2
Gayle W. Ecton, 75, retired superintendent, Henderson County, Ky., Jan. 18
Francis N. Fitzgerald, 86, retired superintendent, Middleton, Mass., Dec. 30
Robert R. Freeman, 84, retired superintendent, DeKalb County, Ga., Oct. 21
Eugene “Gene” Karol, 83, retired superintendent, Calvert County, Md., Jan. 25

News about AASA members’ promotions, retirements, honors and deaths should be addressed to: Editor, School Administrator, 1615 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Fax: 703-841-1543. E-mail: