Superintendent Ragsdale Recognized by National Peers for Leadership and Being an “Inspiring Voice”

AASA Superintendent Ragsdale

At the 2024 School Superintendents Association (AASA) Conference, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale was recognized as an innovative leader and “inspiring voice,” commending the work he has led in Cobb over the last ten years.

The AASA is the premier national association for school system superintendents and leaders across the country and is the gold standard as a support organization for superintendents. As they work with superintendents across the 35,000 districts in the United States, the Superintendent’s most recent national recognition stands out for being received at a conference that is more familiar with superintendents nationwide than any other. 

Cobb Schools Board Chair Randy Scamihorn agreed with the assessment of so many in Cobb and now, national peers, “You know, in Cobb, we are so fortunate, and I think some folks forget how good we have it. During Superintendent Ragsdale’s tenure, which includes “The Great Recession” and a worldwide pandemic, our student achievement has skyrocketed, our employee satisfaction has become the envy of the education industry, and our district has become a nationwide model of success. Mr. Ragsdale won’t accept the praise he should get; he always redirects that praise to our staff, but the truth is NONE of this success would have been achievable without Chris Ragsdale. In my opinion, and the opinion of his peers, he is among the best superintendents in the nation. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.”

Superintendent Ragsdale was recognized as one of the longest-standing superintendents in the top 25 school districts and received questions about how children across Cobb outperform their peers. In a wide-ranging interview, the Superintendent spoke to the unique work in Cobb that has led to high academic achievement in the 24th largest school district in the country. Specifically, he was recognized for and asked questions about creating CTLS, student safety initiatives, keeping sexually explicit content out of classrooms, precisely identifying what students know and need through formative assessment and Cobb student performance when compared to their peers. 

As an example, the Cobb Teaching and Learning System (CTLS) was spotlighted in an Ivy League study as a model for other school districts nationwide. Cobb’s digital learning platform, which saves parents, teachers, and students time, also recently earned a national sustainable tech practices award

Hearing the phrase “safety of students and staff is our top priority” is no surprise to anyone in Cobb, but the members of the AASA were surprised to hear of the many layers of detail contained in Cobb Shield, a network of 13 safety supports, available in every Cobb school. All of our students, staff, and parents benefit from the district’s 80 well-trained police officers and our crisis response system, which is used by every staff member. 

Cobb also led the state by introducing Georgia’s BEST (Building Educator Success Together), a unique recruitment and retention program enabling Cobb educators to pursue an advanced degree in high-need areas at no tuition cost to them. 

As Superintendent Ragsdale has repeatedly explained here in Cobb, he told the national audience he will continue to protect students from inappropriate, sexually explicit content and make sure parents decide what their children are exposed to. 

Superintendent Ragsdale being recognized as a “leadership voice from one of the top districts across the country” follows his being named the Superintendent of the Year by the American Heart Association.