In her last episode as host, Mara chats about rural school leadership with Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, the School Superintendent Association; Jule Walker, deputy state superintendent of operations for the Montana Office of Public Instruction; and Jerome Puyau, superintendent of Vermilion Parish School District in Louisiana. Domenech noted that this year AASA is focusing on professional development for rural superintendents, who comprise a majority of superintendents in the country. Walker said that her office will focus, in part, on career and college preparation as part of “redefining ready” in the upcoming school year. Puyau and Walker both noted how important it is to develop multiple pathways to prepare all students for the “real world.” Puyau described some of the difficulties in establishing those pathways, given the lack of funding. Domenech noted that many school districts are functioning with less money than they had a decade ago, and that’s why the upcoming budget discussions are so significant, in regard to Perkins funding and standards, for example. Puyau said it was important for superintendents to view their role as CEOs and creatively use Perkins funds, with alliances with local businesses, for example. He also noted that superintendent turnover is a real problem in his area. The national sponsor for this episode is AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Learn more at www.aasa.org.