Alumna Gladys Cruz a Local and National Leader

Dr. Gladys Cruz smiling wearing glasses and black dress, holding an award
Photo by Joan Heffler, Joan Heffler Photography

Albany, NY (May 31, 2022) - Gladys I. Cruz, district superintendent of Questar III BOCES, will be the 2022-23 president-elect of The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the leading national organization of public school superintendents. At Questar III, Cruz oversees educational and administrative services to 23 school districts, and statewide services to more than 640 districts of all demographics. Her role provides her a broad view of the issues students, teachers, families, administrators, and superintendents face. She is a long-term active member of AASA and serves in leadership roles on several of its programs and initiatives. Her term begins July 1, 2022.

Closer to home, earlier this month, the Capital Region Chamber Women's Business Council awarded Cruz a 2022 Women of Excellence Award.  The award, Excellence in Management, recognizes “steady growth and continued development of management and leadership skills” and considers an individual’s initiative, risk-taking, and creativity in problem-solving.  Similarly, she is a 2022 recipient of the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) Excellence in District Administrative Leadership Award, recognizing her administrative and leadership talents.

An alumna of the University at Albany School of Education, Cruz earned a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction and an MS in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.  She has served on the School’s Dean’s Leadership Council since 2019.

Interim Dean Virginia Goatley noted, “Dr. Cruz is a successful and dynamic leader, who envisions new ideas and works diligently to accomplish them.  We are pleased to see her determination and efforts recognized with these awards.”

Cruz recently shared her expertise and experiences with leadership with members of the UAlbany School of Education Student Leadership Council.  She discussed the job pathway and decision-making that led her to the top position at Questar III.

Students like Erica Shudt, who is studying educational policy and leadership, appreciated Cruz’s candor. “Hearing from Dr. Cruz and her experience that lead to her success was invaluable.  She stressed the importance of authenticity, standing for what you believe in and risk taking, while also collaborating with others to implement new initiatives.  As I start my career, I’m hopeful to incorporate Dr. Cruz’s advice to better serve our students, educators, and community."