DATE: September 29, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Aspiring Superintendents Program

The vast majority of the superintendent positions in Virginia have turned over during the past four years.  This is an urgent call to increase our efforts to prepare potential candidates who are already working in Virginia’s school divisions.

The Aspiring Superintendents Program (ASP) has been an excellent resource for preparing and placing Virginia educators in these positions.  I am writing 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 planning to seek superintendent positions.  The program is offered for graduate level credit through Virginia Tech.

The dates of the 2018 ASP training sessions are: January 25 and 26; March 8 and 9; and May 6-8.  Tuition, registration fees, lodging, meals and self-parking are included in the $4,435 cost of the Aspiring Superintendents Program with a $200 early bird discount if candidates register by November 1, 2017.  Also included is the registration fee for the three-day VASS Annual Conference, May 6-8, 2018. 

The ASP is conducted by two successful Virginia superintendents, Dr. E. Wayne Harris and Dr. 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. 



  1. ASP Information (PDF)