Silberman wins superintendent of year award

Fayette County Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman has been named Kentucky's 2009 Superintendent of the Year.

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators gave Silberman the honor Tuesday morning at its meeting in Louisville.

Silberman, who has led the Fayette County schools since 2004, now becomes a nominee for the American Association of School Administrators' National Superintendent of the Year award. He'll find out on Thursday whether he is one of four finalists for the national honor, which will be presented at the association's annual conference in San Francisco in February.

Silberman was nominated for the Kentucky award by Fayette County School Board Chairwoman Becky Sagan. In her nominating letter, she credited Silberman with fostering a "revitalization" of enthusiasm for education in the community, and creating a belief that "the Fayette County Public Schools can achieve great success."

It was Silberman's third major statewide award for service as a school superintendent.

He was named superintendent of the year while leading the Daviess County Public Schools before coming to Lexington. While in Daviess County, he also received the F.L. Dupree Outstanding School Superintendent Award from the Kentucky School Boards Association. Now, he has added a second superintendent of the year award.

Wayne Young, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators, said Silberman's work in multiple areas earned him Tuesday's award.

"He not only provides great leadership in his district, but he is a leader and partner with his colleagues in making sure that superintendents are full participants in shaping important education policy issues in this state," Young said.

Silberman, whose personal motto, "It's About Kids," has become the watchword for the county schools since he arrived in Lexington, expressed pleasure at his selection Tuesday. But he insisted the entire county school system should get credit.

"I'm truly honored to be able to represent our state and our community," he said. "But to me, this really is not about an individual. This is a result of a community effort between our teachers and staff, families and kids and a great school board. And we've had great community leadership behind what we're doing.

"We're taking a lot of energy from all those groups and moving in a common direction. I think that's what has caused this recognition to come to us."

After collecting the award, Silberman was treated to a surprise breakfast by Scientific Learning, the group that sponsors the superintendent award. Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, Urban League President P.G. Peeples, Commerce Lexington President Bob Quick and Rabbi Marc Kline made the trip to Louisville to be on hand for the breakfast.

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators presents the award annually to a school superintendent who demonstrates educational leadership, creativity in meeting the needs of students, motivational spirit and active community involvement. The recipient, selected by a statewide panel of judges, receives a commemorative sculpture and a $2,000 scholarship to be given to a high school senior in his or her district.