AASA: The American Association of School Administrators

The American Association of School Administrators celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. For its February conference edition, I was hired to write six major stories on the organization’s history. The project took more than two months and involved more than 25 interviews as well as background research.

You can read the digital edition of the magazine in its entirety by clicking here. PDFs of the individual stories can be accessed by clicking the links below.

AASA’s Origins: A look at the organization’s beginning, which dates back to four months after President Lincoln was assassinated, as well as major developments throughout its 150-year history.

Governance and Policymaking: How AASA’s governance structure has evolved over its history, plus major policy stances taken by the organization to help children be ready and prepared for school.

Conferences and Networking: Professional development is one of the hallmarks of any membership association. This story takes a look at how AASA’s training for its members has evolved over time, from large conventions to working with specific niches of school leaders.

Federal Advocacy: Known on Capitol Hill as a feisty, respected advocate for its members and the school children they serve, AASA has taken a number of controversial stands over its history to help improve public education.

Faces of Leadership: The superintendency has long been a profession dominated by white males, but the number of women leading school districts has grown steadily over the past three decades. Still, the lack of African-American and Latino leadership in what is now a minority-majority school system nationally is troubling.

Publications and Communications: Visible member services, such as publications, are critical to any association. Today, however, AASA’s communications efforts go far beyond the materials that land in a member’s home mailbox.


Online Q&As: Sixteen interviews I conducted for the 150th anniversary issue were captured for the organization’s online efforts and are now available here as well.

The interviews include AASA’s current and former executive directors (Daniel Domenech, Paul Houston) key former staff (Bruce Hunter, Gary Marx, Fenwick English), board members who made a dramatic impact (June Gabler, Sarah Jerome, Eugene White), D.C. area education leaders (Anne Bryant/Thomas Shannon, Gene Carter, Jack Jennings), state association leaders (Ozzie Rose, Walt Whitfield), and longtime AASA members (Burke Royster, Peter Corona).

You can access the individual interviews by clicking on the person’s name, or see the entire set in one document here.