Arizona School Administrators has selected Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard to honor with its Distinguished Administrator award in its superintendent division.
The association will honor Howard with the award at its Summer Conference Awards Luncheon in Tucson on Monday, June 12.
Howard, a two-decade educator whose father, Jim, is a retired schools superintendent who headed the Prescott district when his son attended Prescott High School, was nominated by Prescott Governing Board President Greg Mengarelli with endorsements by Yavapai County Schools Superintendent Tim Carter, vice-president of the Arizona Board of Education and State Sen. Karen Fann of Prescott.
“I’m definitely honored and humbled,” Howard said this week of the honor. “There are a few superintendents in Arizona, and they are all great folks, and so I have a lot of mentors out there.” But Howard was clear this award is far less about him than the community where he lives and serves.
“The magic of PUSD is the people we work with: the incredible teachers, the incredible support staff and the incredible students and their parents,” Howard said. “Any time someone as a leader wins an award like this it’s a reflection on their community, their staff and their families.”
When Mengarelli learned of his award, he said he immediately thought of Howard, a well-respected educator who has been honored by numerous organizations for his community contributions as both an educator and civic servant.
“He’s done a great job of turning things around in this district; changing the culture and the attitude of our teachers and staff,” Mengarelli said of Howard’s two-year tenure. On a financial level, Howard has been instrumental in garnering community support for the public schools. He was a major force behind the effort to obtain a majority vote in 2015 of a $15 million, 14-year general obligation bond and $6 million override that afforded all teachers and staff a 5 percent pay increase.
“Joe believes that strong schools make strong communities,” said Assistant Schools Superintendent Mardi Read. “Joe believes in ‘every child, every day.”