Gaines’ post with AASA in Mehlville’s best interest, educators say

To the editor:

On behalf of the nearly 10,300 students who attend schools in the Mehlville School District, we congratulate fellow Missourian Chris Gaines and Mehlville superintendent as the incoming president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators, The School Superintendents Association.

As members of its Governing Board, it will be an honor to serve this great organization when fellow superintendent Dr. Gaines is sworn in as president-elect in July.

For Bob Franey’s clarification — per his June 1 letter to the editor — AASA is recognized as the voice of superintendents in America. Given the political climate we’re in, there has never been a more important time than now to speak out about the value of public education. The challenges of the job for a superintendent are at its peak. That’s why a unified voice as advocates and a connected vision for programs and support is critically important. That is what AASA is all about.

Each year, AASA engages hundreds of superintendents through a myriad of leadership programs, which address the most critical issues in education. These programs include an aspiring superintendents academy, a digital consortium, a national superintendent certification program and a personalized learning cohort. These professional development programs were created to provide the tools and training for superintendents to succeed on the job.

The superintendent’s job is a lonely one because there is only one in every school district. Through AASA, Dr. Gaines has direct access to thousands of school district leaders from coast to coast — the nation’s foremost thought leaders in public education — to exchange ideas and best practices. In his letter, Franey asks “Is Gaines’ position with the AASA in the best interest of the Mehlville School District?”

Given the fact that AASA has been serving school system leaders for more than 150 years, we, as educators, say, “Yes, indeed.”