People Watch

School Administrator, October 2019

Catherine Edmonds
The new superintendent in Elizabeth City, N.C., is Catherine Edmonds, who comes from a similar role in Bertie County, N.C. Edmonds previously worked in leadership development at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University after spending seven years in district transformation with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She also was a principal in Granville County, N.C. Edmonds, a member of AASA since 2018, earned her Ed.D. in leadership from North Carolina State University.

Diana L. Mitchell
The Plainfield, N.J., School District has a new superintendent in Diana Mitchell, who was previously superintendent of the 4,800-student Dorchester County Schools in Cambridge, Md., for two years. Mitchell earlier was assistant superintendent for technology in Colorado Springs, Colo., and held several positions over 19 years in Maryland’s Prince George’s County Schools, including instructional specialist and principal. Mitchell earned her Ed.D. in educational leadership from Bowie State University in Maryland. She has been a member of AASA since 2016.

William J. Rearick
Bill Rearick is returning to the state where he got his start as a teacher as he assumes the superintendency of the School Administrative Unit 15 in Hooksett, N.H. Rearick was previously an educational consultant at Tiverton School Department in Tiverton, R.I., following 15 years as superintendent and five years as high school principal there. He also served as a high school principal in Coventry, R.I. Rearick spent 13 years teaching social studies in Middletown, R.I., Pittsfield, N.H., and Derry, N.H. He has been a member of AASA for 14 years.


Alejandro Ruvalcaba
Alex Ruvalcaba has taken the reins of his first school district, becoming superintendent of the 2,500-student Rosemead, Calif., School District. Most recently, Ruvalcaba was assistant superintendent of human resources in Upland, Calif., Unified School District for 2½ years, after a stint as assistant superintendent of secondary education in Upland. He also worked as a high school principal in the West Covina School District in Walnut Valley, Calif. Ruvalcaba joined AASA earlier this year.


Ian B. Saltzman
After a 30-year career spent entirely in West Palm Beach, Fla., Ian Saltzman is moving across the country to take the top leadership berth in the Everett, Wash., Public Schools. Saltzman served as regional superintendent, area superintendent, superintendent of transformation schools, director of school accountability, principal, assistant principal and middle school teacher during his tenure at the School District of Palm Beach County. He earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration from Nova Southeastern University. Saltzman joined AASA in 2017.

Melissa W. Varley
The 1,100-student Florham Park, N.J., Public Schools has bade goodbye to its superintendent of five years as Melissa Varley has assumed the superintendency in Berkeley Heights, N.J. Varley previously worked as assistant superintendent in Sparta, N.J., and director of curriculum in East Rutherford, N.J. She also has taught at the elementary and middle school levels over eight years in Georgia. Varley holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from University of Georgia. She has been a member of AASA since 2015.

Steven Carter, from deputy superintendent, Union County Public Schools, Morganfield, Ky., to superintendent, McCracken County Public Schools, Paducah, Ky.
David A. Cox, from superintendent, Allegany County Public Schools, Cumberland, Md., to superintendent, Sullivan County Schools, Blountville, Tenn.
Eric Knost, from superintendent, Rockwood School District, Eureka, Mo., to superintendent, Lewis Central Community Schools, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Kirk Koennecke, from superintendent, Graham Local Schools, Saint Paris, Ohio, to superintendent, Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jason McKinnon, from assistant superintendent, New Fairfield, Conn., to superintendent, Oxford, Conn.
Mark Miles, from superintendent, Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, Cincinnati, Ohio, to superintendent, Rockwood School District, Eureka, Mo.
Nisha Patel, from assistant superintendent to superintendent, Fox C-6 School District, Arnold, Mo.
William D. Sroufe, from superintendent, Patrick County Public Schools, Stuart, Va., to superintendent, Colonial Heights Public Schools, Colonial Heights, Va.
Kristen Stringfellow, from superintendent, South Kingstown School District, Wakefield, R.I., to superintendent, Norwich Public Schools, Norwich, Conn.
Jason Thompson, from interim superintendent to superintendent, Marysville, Wash.

Warren Drake, superintendent, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Baton Rouge, La., received Magnet Schools of America’s Superintendent of the Year award
Kevin Fitzgerald, superintendent, Caesar Rodney School District, Wyoming, Del., received National Association of Educational Office Professionals’ National Educational Administrator of the Year award

Joseph Bergant II, 62, retired superintendent, Chardon, Ohio, July 2
Susan Simpson Hull, 60, superintendent, Grand Prairie, Texas, July 8
Ned Kirsch, 53, superintendent, Fairfax, Vt., April 10
Steve McDermott, 60, superintendent, Creston, Iowa, July 2
Kent Taylor, 54, former superintendent, Lennox, Calif., June 9


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: