Dr. Salazar-Zamora Named AASA National Superintendent of the Year Finalist
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to announce Tomball ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora as a finalist for the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year®. This distinction honors school system leaders throughout the country who are making a positive difference in the lives of the students they serve, in addition to ensuring the safety and wellness of their school communities.
Joining Dr. Salazar-Zamora as one of four finalists for the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year® are:
- Martha Salazar-Zamora, Tomball Independent School District, Tomball, TX
- Joe Gothard, Saint Paul Public Schools, Saint Paul, MN
- Kimberly Rizzo Saunders, Contoocook Valley School District, Peterborough, NH
- Fredrick Williams, Dublin City Schools, Dublin, GA
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be recognized by AASA as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year,” said Dr. Salazar-Zamora.
"I’m fortunate to serve in a community that supports public education, values student learning opportunities, and understands the importance of growth and innovation.
"As a Superintendent, I believe now more than ever it is the power of a supportive and united community that drives success in public education, and we couldn’t do the work we do without our dedicated stakeholders. I’m also thankful for a supportive School Board and working alongside amazing district and campus leaders that help move our work forward. For it is every individual’s commitment to high-quality instruction and creating premier student experiences that drives Tomball ISD to be the very best.”
In September 2023, following Dr. Salazar-Zamora’s selection as Region 4 Superintendent of the Year, the Texas Association of School Boards named her the 2023 Texas Superintendent of the Year. She is the first Hispanic female to receive the honor. The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) named Dr. Salazar-Zamora a state nominee for AASA National Superintendent of the Year.
“It is no surprise that Dr. Salazar-Zamora has been named a finalist for AASA National Superintendent of the Year,” said Dr. Kevin Brown, Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Executive Director. “I have known Martha for about 15 years and have seen first-hand what a remarkable servant-leader she is.
"She has that rare combination of exceptional leadership, people, and organizational skills along with a strong sense of mission and work ethic. When all of those things are possessed by one person, you have a one-of-a-kind leader.
"All of us from Tomball to the rest of our state and nation are so fortunate to have such an amazing leader serving our children and communities as a public school superintendent. Her peers and I have the highest admiration for Dr. Salazar-Zamora, and celebrate this well-deserved honor!”
“I also want to thank the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) for nominating me for National Superintendent of the Year as the representative for Texas, and for truly believing in the work being done in Tomball ISD to maximize student opportunities all while managing fast-growth and challenges related to funding. Public education in Texas stands strong today because of the collective work and advocacy being done by all educators working together to champion student achievement and outcomes. I’m proud to serve as the Texas Superintendent of Year on a national level.”
The National Superintendent of the Year® program, now in its 37th year, is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors international school superintendents. The applicants were measured against the following criteria:
- Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system
- Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication
- Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team
- Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues
Dr. Salazar-Zamora currently serves as TASA president-elect and will lead TASA as president in 2024-25. She is also the president of the Fast Growth School Coalition and vice president of The Council of Women School Executives. She is a past president and founding member of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. Salazar-Zamora serves on the TASA Commissioner’s Cabinet and on the executive committee of AASA. She is a member of the boards of trustees for both the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hospital Corporation of America Tomball.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE FINALISTS
“Congratulations to the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year® finalists. The leadership and steadfast commitment these individuals have shown to their students, staff and local communities is nothing short of inspirational. Their vision and inclination for action will have a lasting impact on the future of countless young adults and our country,” said Terri Fiedler, president of retirement services, Corebridge Financial. “Corebridge is proud to support AASA and this program in recognition of the positive learning environments that educational leaders are creating and cultivating in school districts across the U.S.”
“These four superintendents are transforming the lives of the students they serve in order to build better futures for all of us,” said John Kenning, CEO and president, First Student. “As a partner to school districts across North America, providing unmatched care and the safest ride to school, First Student is proud to join AASA in celebrating the impressive contributions our National Superintendent of the Year® finalists are making to bolster public education in their communities. First Student is pleased to join AASA as we salute these outstanding educators.”
“It is an honor to congratulate these four innovative and future-driven superintendents who are setting the bar for what high-quality leadership is all about,” said David R. Schuler, executive director, AASA. “Our honorees took their respective school districts and their entire school communities to higher heights of excellence. They are prime examples of what it means to be a superintendent in today’s post-COVID world. We are grateful to Corebridge Financial and First Student for supporting our program.”
The National Superintendent of the Year® finalists will have an opportunity to meet the national education community during a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The briefing will begin at 3p.m. (ET).
Co-sponsored by AASA, Corebridge Financial (formerly known as AIG Life & Retirement) and First Student, the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year® will be announced during AASA’s National Conference on Education, Feb. 15, 2024, in San Diego, Calif.
A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year® to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated or the school now serving the same area.
For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Rooney, AASA director, meetings and awards, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more from AASA.
ABOUT COREBRIDGE FINANCIAL
Corebridge Financial, Inc. (NYSE: CRBG) makes it possible for more people to take action in their financial lives. With more than $360 billion in assets under management and administration as of Sept. 30, 2023, Corebridge Financial is one of the largest providers of retirement solutions and insurance products in the United States. We proudly partner with financial professionals and institutions to help individuals plan, save for and achieve secure financial futures. For more information, visit corebridgefinancial.com and follow us on LinkedIn and YouTube.
ABOUT FIRST STUDENT
First Student is the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America. With a team of highly trained drivers, the industry’s strongest safety record and a fleet of nearly 47,000 vehicles, First Student provides the best start and finish to every school day. First Student delivers reliable, quality services, including full-service transportation, fleet electrification, special needs transportation, route optimization, scheduling, maintenance and charter services. For more information, please visit www.firststudentinc.com.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.
ABOUT TOMBALL ISD
Tomball ISD educates students to become responsible, productive citizens by providing innovative, individually rigorous, and personally valuable educational experiences. Founded in 1908, Tomball ISD now encompasses 83 square miles in northwest Harris County and southwest Montgomery County, and is located approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston. The district currently educates over 22,000 students across 23 campuses.
- Dr. Salazar-Zamora
- Superintedent of Year