Springdale superintendent is 2023 Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Jared Cleveland, Springdale Public Schools superintendent, has been named the 2023 Superintendent of the Year. He was surprised during the September School Board meeting.

“I am thankful! When people pour into you, there is an obligation to pour into others. Springdale has the best leadership team and certainly the best board. Thank you for entrusting me to do this work” said Dr. Jared Cleveland, Superintendent of Springdale Schools.

Mike Hernandez, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators executive director, presented Cleveland with the award Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at the Springdale School Board meeting.

“He is passionate about his work and family and is an excellent team builder,” said Randy Hutchinson, Springdale School Board president. “His work as superintendent in Springdale, the largest district in the state, has been outstanding, making him more than deserving of this recognition. I look forward to working with him for many more years.”

Cleveland has served the Springdale School District for more than nine years, Hutchinson said. He served his first seven years as the district deputy superintendent and was chosen to become superintendent in July of 2020.

“He hit the ground running as he navigated the early days of the pandemic, and he has always been great at thinking outside the box to best serve the students and staff of our district,” Hutchinson said.

Cleveland is in his 29th year in education and is passionate about preparing students to enter the global workforce through the integration of technology, real-world applications and rigorous instruction, according to the AAEA award press release. His educational mission is to develop minds that think, hearts that care and hands that serve.

The American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year program is sponsored by First Student, AIG Retirement Services, and AASA, according to a Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators press release. The award pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation's public schools.

Candidates are judged on the criteria of leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement, according to the release.

Each state association of school administrators selects a State Superintendent of the Year. These superintendents are then in the running for the National Superintendent of the Year award and will be recognized and honored at the AASA National Conference in February.

This is the third time a Springdale Public Schools superintendent has been honored as the AASA Superintendents of the Year. Rollins was recognized with the recognition in 1992 and 2004.

Previous AASA Superintendents of the Year include:

  • 2022 John "Skipper" Ward, Magnolia
  • 2021 Michael Poore, Little Rock
  • 2020 Benny Weston, Mena
  • 2019 Shawn Cook, Lakeside (Hot Springs)
  • 2018 Jon Collins, West Memphis
  • 2017 Ken Ramey, Siloam Springs
  • 2016 Dale Query, Flippen
  • 2015 Dr. Tony Thurman, Cabot
  • 2014 Dr. Kim Wilbanks, Jonesboro
  • 2013 Dr. Greg Murry, Conway
  • 2012 Dr. Kay Johnson, Greenwood
  • 2011 Joyce Vaught, Lakeside
  • 2010 Dr. Matt McClure, Cross County
  • 2009 Dr. Jerry Guess, Camden Fairview
  • 2008 Andrew Tolbert, Warren
  • 2007 Frank Anthony, Pine Bluff
  • 2006 Dr. Frank A. Holman, Cabot
  • 2005 Dr. Diana Julian, Benton
  • 2004 Dr. Jim Rollins, Springdale
  • 2003 Charles Dyer, Alma
  • 2002 J. M. Edington, Biggers/Reyno
  • 2001 Bob Watson, El Dorado
  • 2000 Dan Shepherd, Marion
  • 1999 Jack Kimbrell, Highland
  • 1998 Dr. Ken James, Batesville
  • 1997 Albert Brown, Corning
  • 1996 Tony Wood, Searcy
  • 1995 Dr. Bill Beasley, Jonesboro
  • 1994 Charles D. Knight, Watson Chapel
  • 1993 Dr. Benny Gooden, Fort Smith
  • 1992 Dr. Jim Rollins, Springdale
  • 1991 Charles Knox, Lonoke
  • 1990 Bobby Lester, Pulaski County Special School District
  • 1989 Dr. Burton Elliott, Siloam Springs
  • 1988 Bill Kessinger, West Memphis

Springdale Public Schools: Springdale Public Schools is the largest school district in Arkansas with 31 campuses in Washington County and an enrollment of approximately 23,000 students in pre-kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Visit www.sdale.org for more information.