Superintendent’s Memo No. 294-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 31, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Aspiring Superintendents Program

The turnover of over half of the superintendent positions in Virginia in the past two years is a major impetus to increase our efforts to prepare potential candidates already working in Virginia’s school divisions. The Aspiring Superintendents Program (ASP) has been an excellent strategy to prepare and place Virginia educators in these vacancies.   I would like to encourage you to recommend outstanding candidates from your school division for the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) and Virginia Tech Aspiring Superintendents Program that will provide intensive training for those seeking superintendent positions.  The program is offered for course credit through Virginia Tech.

The Aspiring Superintendents Program will be held at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.  The dates of the training sessions are January 22-23, 2015; March 12-13, 2015; and May 3-5, 2015.  Tuition, fees, lodging, meals, and parking are included in the $3,975 cost of the program.  Also included is the registration fee for the three-day VASS Annual Conference, May 3-5.  For additional information, please review the flier at the following Web site:

The ASP is conducted by two successful former Virginia superintendents, E. Wayne Harris and Wayne Tripp, who understand the path to the superintendency.  The program is supported by Sharon Richardson, Associate at Virginia Tech Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement.  During the program, experienced presenters cover a variety of topics that are critical to the success of all superintendents, and participants are actively engaged in discussions at least 40 percent of the time.

It is in the best interest of the Commonwealth’s public schools for you to encourage the application of individuals who you think would make excellent educational leaders in our school divisions.  The ASP is for educators who are interested in becoming a division superintendent within the next six months as well as for those who are thinking about starting a career path to the superintendency.

The individual(s) you recommend should be of high caliber in terms of the basic skills required to become a superintendent (e.g. decision-making skills, communication skills, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, etc.).  We are interested in those with demonstrated leadership qualities – individuals whom you would be happy to have as your colleagues.

To recommend a candidate, please send them a copy of this memorandum and tell them that if they are interested, they should complete the registration form online at  Thank you for helping us to cultivate our future school division leaders from Virginia.