Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia on Friday won the 2015 Women in Leadership Award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
The announcement came on the second day of the AASA 2015 National Conference on Education held in San Diego. In addition to winning this award, Elia was a finalist for 2015 Superintendent of the Year. That award, announced Thursday night, went to Philip Lanoue, superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Atlanta, Ga.
In December, Elia was honored as Florida’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year.
The prestigious national award honors the talent, creativity, and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools. Candidates are judged by their leadership for learning, communication skills, professionalism, and for promoting community involvement.
Elia, the first female superintendent to oversee Hillsborough County Public Schools, said this award is particularly meaningful to her.
“It means a lot to me,” Elia said. “My mentors have been strong women in education. Beth Shields (former Hillsborough County school administrator) gave me my first job in Hillsborough County schools, and she became one of the first women to break into the leadership ranks in the district. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to her and others who have mentored me and inspired me over the years.”