Home Press Release Wilder School District, Selected as National ‘Lighthouse’ School System to Help Transform Education District Exemplifies AASA’s Learning 2025 Commission Initiative

Wilder School District, Selected as National ‘Lighthouse’ School System to Help Transform Education District Exemplifies AASA’s Learning 2025 Commission Initiative

Wilder School District, Selected as National ‘Lighthouse’ School System to Help Transform Education District Exemplifies AASA’s Learning 2025 Commission Initiative

Wilder, ID –  Wilder School District (WSD) is one of only six school districts across the country recognized as a 2023 Spring “Lighthouse System” by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in partnership with the Successful Practices Network and Battelle for Kids, to serve as a model of positive change in public education.

WSD, along with the other selected designates, are members of AASA’s Learning 2025 Network, a cadre of more than 120 demonstration districts representing forward-leaning, urban, suburban and rural school systems engaged in learning, networking and working together to help drive education policy and ultimately improve student learning.

The goal of the network, which was created by the AASA National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, is to guide Learning 2025 leaders as they chart their progress toward a “Lighthouse” designation in one or more areas of growth. The commission called for identification of exemplary educational systems to serve as beacons of light in key areas of holistic redesign of American education.

The following are responses from superintendent, Dr. Jeff Dillon.

  • What does it mean to be chosen as an AASA Learning 2025 Lighthouse System?

“It validates the hard work our staff has put in over the last 8 years to create a comprehensive personalized learning ecosystem, where students are empowered to be co-authors of their learning and no student is marginalized.”

  • Why is it important to be a member of the AASA Learning 2025 Network?

“It empowers me as a district leader to have access to innovative education disrupters and future-driven superintendents across the United States.”

  • How do you anticipate teaching and learning excellence changing from being a member of the Learning 2025 Network?

“To learn from the amazing leaders from across the united states that are innovative in different capacities than my current system. We can learn from their great work and embed their successful practices into our system.  And continue to add value to our comprehensive teaching and learning methodology.”

In addition to Wilder School Districtother new AASA Learning 2025 Lighthouse Systems include: 

         Area of Focus: Learners as Co-Authors

         Superintendent: Laura Jacob

         Area of Focus: Future Ready Learners

         Superintendent: Gennaro Piraino, Jr.

         Area of Focus: Future Ready Learners

         Superintendent: Scott Rowe

         Area of Focus: Future Ready Learners

         Superintendent: Philip Martell

         Area of Focus: Future Ready Learners

         Superintendent: Michelle Miller

Districts were reviewed based on strategies and recommendations developed by the commission. Redesign component indicators included:

  • Social, Emotional and Cognitive Growth

  • Future-ready Learners

  • Cognitive Growth Model

  • Learners as Co-authors

  • Accelerator A1: Diverse Educator Pipeline

  • Accelerator A2: Early Learning

  • Accelerator A3: Technology-enhanced Learning

  • Accelerator A4: Community Alignment


The Learning 2025 National Summit

The second annual Learning 2025 National Summit, co-hosted by AASA, SPN and BfK, on June 26-28 in Washington, D.C., will bring together leadership, faculty, boards and staff from across the country to highlight the work building future-focused capacity by these exemplar districts in alignment with the commission. Over the course of the summit, participants will learn from each other, as well as thought leaders and national experts, through keynote presentations, how-to sessions and networking sessions focused on strengthening culture, instruction and maximizing the use of resources. Click here to learn more.

Educators are encouraged to access An American Imperative: A New Vision of Public Schools, prepared and issued by the commission in 2021. The report articulates AASA’s vision, which is intended to serve as a guardrail for specific change, while also empowering districts and schools to tailor plans to the needs of their leaders and learners.

For additional information, contact Mort Sherman, AASA senior associate executive director, at msherman@aasa.org, or Valerie Truesdale, AASA assistant executive director, at vtruesdale@aasa.org.

To join the conversation via Twitter, please access #Learning2025.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

About Wilder School District

Wilder School District resides in a rural, agriculturally rich community in southern Idaho. The town of 1,700 serves about 700 students, including over 200 virtual students. Wilder consists of a high minority population with over 70% Spanish-speaking families. 100% of Wilder students qualify for free and reduced lunch due to low socioeconomic status.

The district focuses on a personalized, mastery-based approach to learning and was recently identified as a top innovative school district in the nation by AASA and Successful

Practices Network. Wilder is proud that they are above the state average for students who enroll in postsecondary education.

James Minichello

Bethani Studebaker