Fuhrey Finalist National Superintendent of Year

Samantha Fuhrey Finalist for National Superintendent of the Year
Posted on 12/17/2019
Samantha FuhreyThe honors keep coming for Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. Recently named Georgia’s 2020 Superintendent of the Year, today AASA, The School Superintendent’s Association, announced that Fuhrey is one of four finalists for the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year! Other finalists are Gustavo Balderas, Eugene School District 4J, Eugene, Oregon; Michael Nagler, Mineola Public Schools, Mineola, New York; and Jeffery Smith, Hampton City Schools, Hampton, Virginia.

Co-sponsored by AASA, AIG Retirement Services and First Student, the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year® will be announced during AASA’s National Conference on Education, Feb. 13-15, 2020, in San Diego, Calif.

“It is quite an honor to represent Georgia, the Newton County School System, and community as a national finalist for Superintendent of the Year,” said Fuhrey. “I would not be in this position without our dedicated school system team, our hard-working students, and our supportive community. Together, we have made strides to ensure that we achieve our vision that all students are well-rounded and prepared for the future. I consider this an honor to be shared with our NCSS team, students, families, and our community partners. Newton County is truly a special community that supports its public school system. As a result, our students have benefitted from and have shown time and time again that they can compete with their peers at the regional, state, and national level.”

Fuhrey added, “I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly acknowledge the tremendous support I receive from our school board. Together they are a fantastic team that puts the children of our district first in every decision they make. Not all school superintendents are so fortunate to work with such an amazing group of men and women. They truly want what’s best for our students and employees.”

“It’s an honor to congratulate these four superintendents who mean so much to the school districts and communities they serve,” said Rob Scheinerman, CEO of AIG Retirement Services. “These outstanding educators share a passion for students and have helped thousands of children realize their potential. AIG Retirement Services is proud to co-sponsor this program as we pay tribute to school district leadership.”

“These four superintendents represent the gold standard in leadership, excellence in public education and raising the academic standards in our country,” said Paul G. Osland, president, First Student. “On behalf of the five million passengers we transport to and from school every day, we congratulate the finalists for the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year®. We are honored to partner with AASA to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of these four leaders as they help shape our tomorrow.”

“This announcement represents an opportunity for AASA to recognize the tremendous work and outstanding leadership carried out by four ambassadors of public education who I would refer to as ‘champions for children,’” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The National Superintendent of the Year® program celebrates both these education thought leaders and the critical role public education plays in our society. We are grateful to AIG Retirement Services 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. 9, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The briefing will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET).

The National Superintendent of the Year® program, now in its 33rd 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

A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2020 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.

“We are absolutely excited that Mrs. Fuhrey’s leadership, commitment to public education, and innovative practices have gained recognition nationally by becoming one of the top four finalists in the nation for Superintendent of the Year,” said Shakila Henderson-Baker, chair of the Newton County Board of Education. “Her leadership for learning and her implementation of programs in our district have been centered around national topics that have impacted school systems everywhere. This has not only helped us to be proactive versus reactive, but it has also brought attention to our school district nationally on platforms like CNN and at national educational conferences. Her drive to be innovative and a forward thinker is also one of the reasons her peers from other districts respect her and seek out her guidance. I spoke with a superintendent in another district recently at a conference about this and his response was, ‘when they ask she’s always willing to assist them.’”

Henderson-Baker added, “I think of Mrs. Fuhrey as a great leader because a leader at all times helps their team to be successful, but a great leader assists and develops others around them to be great leaders and when that happens success becomes natural. We are so thankful to have a great leader like Mrs. Fuhrey!”

Mrs. Fuhrey is in her seventh year as superintendent for Newton County Schools. The first female school superintendent in county history, she has received six contract extensions from the Newton County Board of Education. In 2016, Mrs. Fuhrey was awarded the GSSA President’s Award. She also recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Marywood university in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Fuhrey previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Newton County Schools. She has extensive leadership experience at the executive level as she previously served as the Executive Director for Secondary Education, the Director of Secondary Education, and the Director of Professional Learning for Newton County Schools. Before becoming a district administrator, Mrs. Fuhrey was the principal of Indian Creek Middle School in Newton County from 2005 to 2008 after having been promoted from assistant principal, a position she served from 2001 to 2005. Prior to her employment with Newton County Schools, Mrs. Fuhrey worked for the DeKalb County School System as an assistant principal and an English teacher.

Superintendent Fuhrey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English from Marywood University in 1991 and her master’s degree in educational leadership from State University of West Georgia in 2000. She added an education specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Georgia College and State University in 2006.

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis, director of public relations for Newton County School System, at davis.sherri@newton.k12.ga.us.
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