Dr. Karen Walters, Superintendent of Bryant School District, was recently presented with the 2024 Arkansas Superintendent of the Year Award. Dr. Mike Hernandez, Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA), presented her with the award at the Bryant School District on September 5th, 2023.
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student, AIG Retirement Services, and AASA, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools. Candidates are judged on the following criteria: leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. Each State’s association of school administrators around the nation selects a State Superintendent of the Year. These superintendents are then in the running for the National Superintendent of the Year award and will be recognized and honored at the AASA National Conference in February.
Dr. Walters is in her seventh year as Superintendent of the Bryant School District and her 31st year in education. Dr. Walters leads with a focus on transparency and communicating “What is Our Why” in order to build trusting relationships throughout the school community. She believes that effective communication, common sense, and an intense student focus is the best approach for her district.
Peers of Dr. Walters offered the following comments in support of her nomination: “Dr. Walters is a great leader. She is detail-oriented, knowledgeable, and knows how to accomplish tasks promptly. Dr. Walters consistently shares knowledge and techniques with others to elevate the profession. She has a heart for students and the community. Dr. Walters would represent Arkansas well as Superintendent of the Year.”
“Karen is one of the most outstanding educators we have in the State of Arkansas. She is always prepared, and she is a great advocate for public education. She is ‘fearless’ in fighting for what is right and is never afraid to ask the hard question nor to make statements to support her peers! She has put together systems to ensure her school district is effective in their approach to ensuring student achievement, creating collegial environments for her staff, and finding ways for community voice to help guide decision making.”