November 18, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Aspiring Superintendents Program

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS)-VA Tech Aspiring Superintendents Program (ASP) has been an excellent resource for preparing and placing Virginia educators in these positions.  We would like to encourage you to recommend outstanding candidates from your school division for the VASS and VA Tech Aspiring Superintendents Program that will provide intensive training for those planning to seek superintendent positions.  The program is offered for graduate level credit through Virginia Tech.

The dates of the 2017 ASP training sessions are: January 26 and 27; March 30 and 31; and May 7-9.  Tuition, registration fees, lodging, meals and self-parking are included in the $4,350 cost of the Aspiring Superintendents Program.  Also, included is the registration fee for the three-day VASS Annual Conference, May 7-9, 2017. 

There are four $1,000 scholarships available courtesy of VASS Senior Partner Horace Mann.  Information about the application for these scholarships and selection process can be found on the attached VASS-Horace Mann Scholarships document.

The ASP is conducted by two successful Virginia superintendents, E. Wayne Harris and N. Wayne Tripp, who understand the path to the superintendency and Dr. Sharon Richardson, an experienced and successful school leader.  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 those who are interested in becoming superintendents within the next six months as well as for those who are considering 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 who you would be happy to have as your colleagues. More information on the Aspiring Superintendents Program and how to register is attached.  Please distribute this to the individuals whom you would recommend along with the VASS-Horace Mann Scholarship information.



  1. VASS-Horace Mann Scholarships (PDF)
  2. ASP Information (PDF)