Michael P. Nagler, the top administrator of the Mineola School District, has been named one of four finalists for the 2020 Superintendent of the Year award.
The American Association of School Administrators will announce the winner during its conference Feb. 13-15 in San Diego. Nagler moved into the running after being named New York State Superintendent of the Year in October.
The other finalists are Gustavo Balderas of the Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon; Samantha Fuhrey of the Newton County School System in Covington, Georgia, and Jeffery Smith of Hampton City Schools in Hampton, Virginia.
The award recognizes school system leaders who are making a positive difference in the lives of the students they serve, the organization said.
Nagler, 54, said Thursday that he was "honored for making it even this far, and being considered in the ranks of these fine educators. I must acknowledge that I am merely the representative for a community of dedicated teachers, staff, parents and board members who have embraced a vision for our students and our schools that had previously been unimaginable."
Nagler joined Mineola in 1999 as assistant principal of the district's middle school, and served as high school principal and deputy superintendent before becoming superintendent in 2009.
Nagler initially was nominated for the New York State Council of School Superintendents award by Mineola Board of Education president Christine Napolitano and will be honored in March at the state conference in Albany.
This week's announcement from the national association represents an opportunity "to recognize the tremendous work and outstanding leadership carried out by four ambassadors of public education who I would refer to as ‘champions for children,' ” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the superintendents association.
Judges looked at the superintendents' skills in leadership, communication, professionalism and community involvement.
A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area. Nagler graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn.