Silberman loses bid for national award

Beverly Hall edged out Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman on Friday to become the 2009 National Superintendent of the Year.

Hall, who is superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, was given the award Friday morning at the National Conference on Education in San Francisco.

Silberman was one of four finalists for the award, presented annually by the American Association of School Administrators. He said his nomination reflected the hard work and successes of Fayette County students, parents, teachers and leaders.

"I want to congratulate Beverly, because I believe she will represent school districts and superintendents across our country very well," he said. "It's been our honor to be a part of the final four. It speaks volumes about the work that's happening in our school district."

Silberman, who has headed the Fayette County schools since 2004, was nominated for the national award after being named Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the state Association of School Administrators in December. It was the second time he had been selected Kentucky Superintendent of the Year.

"Going through the selection process gave me the opportunity to look back over the last five years and ... really see the great work that is taking place in our district," he said. "Sometimes you get moving so fast that you don't have a chance to stop and appreciate the progress that's been made."

Under Silberman's leadership, Fayette County Schools have instituted a 24-hour response time for telephone and e-mail inquiries, set high expectations for and boosted student achievement, and instituted programs for transparency and openness.

The other finalists for national superintendent of the year were Suzanne Freeman, superintendent of city schools in Trussville, Ala., and Gene White, superintendent of public schools in Indianapolis.