AASA Names ‘Lighthouse’ School Systems to Serve as Models to Help Transform Education, and the West Valley School District is One of Them
Moving toward creating a holistic redesign of our nation’s schools, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in partnership with the Successful Practices Network, announced today that 13 school districts have been recognized as “Lighthouse” systems that will serve as models of positive change in public education.
The selected designates are members of AASA’s Learning 2025 Network, a cadre of more than 120 demonstration systems representing forward-leaning, urban, suburban and rural school districts engaged in learning, networking and working together to help drive education policy and ultimately improve student learning.
The goal of the Network, which was created by the AASA National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, is to guide Learning 2025 leaders as they chart their progress toward “Lighthouse” designation in one or more areas of growth. The commission called for identification of exemplary educational systems to serve as beacons of light in key areas of holistic redesign of American education.
“Our ‘Lighthouse’ systems are serving as thought-leader practitioners that are implementing bold, actionable steps on behalf of the broader education community to learn from and learn with as they have taken on the challenge of Learning 2025,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical to invoke future-focused best practices for the well-being, self-sufficiency and success of our young learners. I congratulate these districts, as well as all of the school districts associated with the Learning 2025 Network.”
The AASA Learning 2025 Lighthouse Systems are:
- Baldwin Union Free School District, Baldwin, N.Y.
Superintendent: Shari Camhi
- Buckeye Elementary School District, Buckeye Ariz.
Superintendent: Kristi Wilson
- Coxsackie-Athens Central School District, Coxsackie, N.Y.
Superintendent: Randy Squier
- Elizabeth Forward School District, Elizabeth, Pa.
Superintendent: Todd Keruskin
- Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata, Pa.
Superintendent: Brian Troop
- Harvard Community Unit School District 50, Harvard, Ill.
Superintendent: Corey Tafoya
- High School District 214, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Superintendent: David Schuler
- Linton-Stockton School Corporation, Linton, Ind.
Superintendent: Kathy Goad
- Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Naperville, Ill.
Superintendent: Dan Bridges
- Val Verde Unified School District, Perris, Calif.
Superintendent: Michael McCormick
- Washougal School District, Washougal, Wash.
Superintendent: Mary Templeton
- West Allegheny School District, Imperial, Pa.
Superintendent: Jerri Lynn Lippert
- West Valley School District 208, Yakima, Wash.
Superintendent: Peter Finch
A review panel comprised of independent education leaders from across the country evaluated applications submitted during the first three months of 2022. Districts were reviewed based on strategies and recommendations developed by the commission. Redesign component indicators included:
- Social, Emotional and Cognitive Growth
- Future-Ready Learners
- Cognitive Growth Model
- Learners as Co-authors
- Accelerator A1: Diverse Educator Pipeline
- Accelerator A2: Early Learning
- Accelerator A3: Technology Enhanced Learning
- Accelerator A4: Community Alignment
“While no school district is anticipated to be exemplary in all components of the AASA Learning 2025 redesign, the goal of the educational system reflection profile is to guide Learning 2025 leaders and staff,” said Bill Daggett, founder of the Successful Practices Network and co-chair of the commission. “System improvement is viewed as a continuum of planning, developing, implementing and evaluating practices, and moving a system to where it strives to grow to benefit the children it serves.”
“It is gratifying to know that we will be able to take action together as we look at some of the country’s remarkable school systems embracing the challenge of Learning 2025,” said Mort Sherman, associate executive director, AASA and co-chair of the commission. “The opportunity to learn from colleagues, or ‘critical friends,’ across the country should be inspirational for the school systems participating in a process that provides endless opportunities to reflect on the majesty of the work that is happening right now in our school communities.”
The profile is meant to guide superintendents and their teams as they consider progress toward their growth. AASA and SPN will provide feedback on behalf of selected districts’ progress and efforts for system redesign.
Educators are encouraged to access An American Imperative: A New Vision of Public Schools, prepared and issued by the commission in 2021. The report articulates AASA’s vision, which is intended to serve as a guardrail for specific change, while also empowering districts and schools to tailor plans to the needs of their leaders and learners.