Distinguished School Administrator Award

Sponsored by ProQuest

Monetary Amount: $2,000

Deadline: The application for this award is currently closed.  The next award cycle will open on September 1, 2024, and will close on February 1, 2025. 


The Distinguished School Administrator Award honors a school administrator who has made worthy contributions to the operations of an exemplary school library and to advancing the role of the school library in the educational program.

The purpose of the AASL Distinguished School Administrator Award is:

  1. To honor those administrators outside the library profession who through individual leadership and sustained effort have made worthy contributions to the operations of effective school library services and to advancing the role of the school library services in the educational program.

  2. To recognize the responsible and influential role of those administrators outside the school library department in developing successful school library programs.

  3. To stimulate planning, implementing and support of the library services which are essential to a meaningful educational program.


  1. State, county or district school superintendents and building principals, currently in administrative office, directly responsible for a school or group of schools at any level, who is not working in a library services department and who is not a regular ALA/AASL member are eligible for nomination.

  2. District administrators responsible for broad instructional leadership such as assistant superintendents, directors of curriculum and instruction and directors of elementary and/or secondary education are also eligible provided they are not working in a library services department or a regular ALA/AASL member.

  3. Nominations must be made by personal member of AASL.


The following criteria will be used in the selection process:

  1. Administrative leadership and continuing efforts in promoting effective school library services and advancing the role of school library services in the educational program.

  2. Nominee’s personal philosophy/statement related to the school library program’s role in the educational program.

  3. Demonstrated support for library resources and staff as presented in the description of the community (consider moral support as well as financial resources for staff and “things”, including access to information).

  4. Evidence of school library program improvements as compared with program when nominee began and today. 

  5. Statement of current commitments and future plans for school library services and programs.

  6. How the nominee is rated in comparison with other award nominees.

Download Criteria & Rating Sheets pdf icon

Download Copy of Application 

* Please note: This downloadable version is for informational purposes only. All applications must be submitted online, via the Apply Now button that will appear at the top of the page when the next award season opens in early September.


Allison Cline email icon
Deputy Executive Director


Year Recipient Affiliation
2024 Rosetta G. Le, Principal Suncrest Elementary School
Morgantown, West Virginia
  "It is a tremendous honor to accept the Distinguished School Administrator Award! During my elementary school years, I spent countless hours in the library. Those hours ignited a love of reading that continues today. I believe that literacy is the foundation of elementary learning, which makes the library the heart of the school. That is why it is truly a pleasure to support library initiatives that enhance access to literacy for all students."
2023 No Recipient  
2022 Tim Salem Scotts Ridge Middle School 
Ridgefield, Connecticut
2021 Dr. April Grace Shawnee (Oklahoma) Public Schools
2020 Dr. Kevin Smith Wilton (Connecticut) Public Schools Superintendent
2019 Shirley Simmons Norman (Oklahoma) Public Schools
2018 Michael Daria Tuscaloosa (Alabama) City Schools Superintendent
2017 Warren Drake Superintendent of Schools
East Baton Rouge Parish (Louisiana) School System
2016 Kathleen Procopio Millville (New Jersey) High School Principal
2015 Lenny ​Santamaria Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School 24 Principal
Staten Island, New York
2014 Dr. Arturo Cavazos Harlingen (Texas) CISD
2013 Scott Bacon Blue Valley High School Principal
Stilwell, Kansas
2012 Mat McRae Swan Valley High School Principal
Saginaw, Michigan
2011 Donna Haye District Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction
Atlantic City (New Jersey) Board of Education
2010 Vince Barnes North Elementary School Principal
Noblesville, Indiana
2009 Melanie Goffen Horowitz Central Elementary School Principal
Wilmette, Illinois
2008 No Recipient  
2007 Nathan S. Greenberg Superintendent of Schools, Londonderry (New Hampshire) School District
2006 Kay McBride Library Specialist, Pasadena (Texas) ISD
2005 Michael Hart Holy Rosary School Principal
Tacoma, Washington
2004 Dr. William Harner Superintendent, Greenville (South Carolina) County School District
2003 Barbara E. De Spain Lois Lenski Elementary School Principal
Centennial, Colorado
2002 Dr. William Meuer Norwood Park School
Chicago, Illinois
2001 Dr. Kathleen D. Smith Cherry Creek High School
Englewood, Colorado
2000 Dr. Elaine Armani Associate Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Waukegan (Illinois) Community School District
1999 Eugene Sudol Wayne Hills High School Principal
Wayne, New Jersey
1998 Brian Fagan Assistant Superintendent, Fairfield (Connecticut) Public Schools
1997 Donald V. DeLong Superintendent, Merced (California) City School District
1996 Faye Kimsey Lakeside Elementary School Principal
Chattanooga, Tennessee
1995  No Recipient  
1994 James C. Enochs Superintendent, Modesto (California) City Schools
1993 Susan Robinson Harcourt Elementary School Principal
Indianapolis, Indiana
1992 Thomas L. Gibbs Assistant Superintendent for Secodary Education, Indian Prairie School District #204
Naperville, Illinois
1991 Marilyn Blakely Director of Elementary Education, Vigo County School Corporation
Terre Haute, Indiana
1990 Dr. Richard Doremus Superintendent, Shoreham-Wading River Central School District
Shoreham, New York
1989 Robert Gross Superintendent, ISD #181
Brainerd, Minnesota
1988 Ralph Ricardo Superintendent, Ascension Parish School District
Donaldsville, Louisiana
1987 Ron Wimmer Assistant Superintendent, Olathe (Kansas) District Schools
1986 William H. Phillips Superintendent, Jordan (New York) Elbridge Central School District
1985 E. Wayne Harris Fairfax County School District
Alexandria, Virginia