Manuel J. Rivera, the superintendent of the 46,700-student Rochester, N.Y., school district, has been named the 2006 National Superintendent of the Year.
The award, co-sponsored by the Arlington, Va.-based American Association of School Administrators and the Philadelphia-based Aramark Education, was announced Feb. 24 in San Diego at the AASA’s annual conference.
“I sincerely appreciate this recognition,” Mr. Rivera said in an interview. “We know we have a long way to go, but we’re on the right track,” he said of his district.
He cited gains in achievement among elementary pupils, a strong partnership with the teachers’ union, and leadership-development programs as notable pluses.
Mr. Rivera, 53, has been the superintendent of the Rochester schools since 2002. He also held that position from 1991 to 1994. He has served as an executive vice president of development for Edison Schools Inc.
A panel of educators, business leaders, and government officials selected Mr. Rivera from a field of four finalists, based on the criteria of communication, professionalism, community involvement, and “leadership for learning,” which is defined as creativity in successfully meeting students’ needs.
As part of his honor, a $10,000 scholarship will be presented in his name to a student at New London High School in New London, Conn., from which Mr. Rivera graduated.