Superintendent chosen as finalist for national award |

Superintendent chosen as finalist for national award

Christine Kuklica
Dr. Sandra Sheldon

Churchill County School District Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon was chosen as a finalist for an esteemed program that will select only 10 superintendents throughout the nation.

The Lexington Institute, according to its website, is a non-profit public policy think tank focused on education reform. The institute announced the names of 27 finalists for its second cohort of personalized learning fellows. It stated that based on the success of the first 10 leaders to go through the program, the Lexington Institute opened applications for a second cohort of 10 in July. More than 100 leaders have applied to participate in the fellowship.

“We are so excited to include 27 distinguished leaders as finalists for the second cohort,” said Don Soifer, executive director of the Lexington Institute. “Every application we received was impressive, and this group of finalists even more so. It was wonderful to see the commitment to supporting student learning expressed by every leader. It will be difficult to select only 10 of these innovative districts to move forward with the more intensive support provided by the fellowship.”

Sheldon said it’s truly an honor to have been chosen in the top 27. She said she was invited by Lexington Institute to apply for the fellows and did so with a written essay about the vision of the district.

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected,” Sheldon said. “I am among a group of exceptional leaders who are skilled in blended and personal learning. This is truly the highlight of my career.”

The 27 finalists selected will participate in a specialized track and special networking opportunities at the iNACOL symposium in Orlando next month. Sheldon said the 10 selected as fellows will spend six months learning from each other and receiving support from Education Elements.

The personalized learning organization selected by The Lexington Institute provides technical assistance and work closely with each of the fellows on articulating their vision for personalized learning and developing a strategic framework for a district implementation.

School Board President Ron Evans said Sheldon’s accomplishment shows the school board did their job when selecting her as superintendent.

“The superintendent in Washington (state) said Sandra was one of the top five superintendents of the state,” he said. “I think she is very knowledgeable about what she does and her background and history show that. I know we made the right decision when choosing her.”

If Sheldon is selected as one of the 10 LELA fellows, she must attend a meeting on-site in Churchill County in January, a meeting in another district on March 29 or April 4 and a celebration in Washington D.C. on June 2. She must keep in contact with key members of the leadership team.