By Rebecca LaFlure

Killeen Daily Herald

Rose Cameron, superintendent of Copperas Cove Independent School District, was named the top superintendent in the region for 2009, according to the Texas Association of School Boards.

Cameron will go on to compete against 16 other superintendents from across the state for TASB's annual Superintendent of the Year Award – a program that has recognized exemplary superintendents for the past 25 years.

Tuesday's announcement was a pleasant surprise, Cameron said, but she insists it's the teachers and students who deserve the most recognition.

"This is about the district; it's not about me," Cameron said Tuesday. "I get the recognition, but they've done the work."

The 16 regional winners were first nominated for the award by their district school boards. Local nominees were submitted to a regional selection committee, which chose one nominee to send to the state selection committee.

This was Cameron's first year to be eligible for the award. All candidates must serve as superintendent in their district for at least three years to qualify. Cameron became CCISD superintendent three years ago.

Joan Manning, CCISD board of trustees president, said board members wanted to nominate Cameron from the moment she began working with them as the district's leader.

Cameron's visibility throughout the district, upbeat personality and effective leadership skills make her a great superintendent, she said.

"She's at everything. She's at basketball games, volleyball games, band concerts," Manning said. "Everybody knows her. She doesn't just stay in her office."

Bobby Ott, former deputy superintendent of CCISD, said Cameron is an excellent choice for the 2009 Superintendent of the Year because of CCISD's improvements in academic achievement under her leadership.

CCISD became a recognized district last year – a bump up from the district's previous "acceptable" rating.

"She has done so much for the students and staff in Copperas Cove," said Ott, who worked alongside Cameron for three years. "She's maintained a strong balance between high standards and a caring attitude."

The candidates were chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance and commitment to public involvement in education.

The state committee will interview regional winners in August in Austin and select five state finalists. The Superintendent of the Year will be announced Oct. 3 at the TASA/TASB convention in Houston.

Cameron previously served as deputy superintendent of CCISD, assistant superintendent of Joshua ISD and taught at Tarleton State University.

Other nominees for the state award include superintendents at Round Rock ISD, Longview ISD and Mesquite ISD.

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