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ERDI Proudly Announces the Recipient of its Inaugural Resilient Leader Award

Superintendent Scott Menzel Announced as Inaugural Recipient of Resilient Leader Awarded 2024

HIGHWOOD, IL, UNITED STATES, March 14, 2024 / -- ERDI is delighted to announce the recipient of its first-ever Resilient Leader Award: Dr. Scott Menzel, Superintendent of Scottsdale Unified School District in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Established in 2024, the Resilient Leader Award recognizes K-12 leaders who demonstrate exceptional courage and effective leadership amidst adversity. Dr. Menzel has exemplified outstanding dedication and vision, particularly during challenging and divisive times in the educational landscape.

Throughout his tenure, Dr. Menzel has displayed unwavering commitment to advancing the well-being and educational opportunities of children, in partnership with families and the support of dedicated school staff. His leadership is characterized by integrity, foresight, and an inclusive approach that fosters an environment where every child can thrive.

Dr. Menzel's resilience and determination have been evident in his efforts to engage with stakeholders, even amidst opposition. Despite facing adversity, he has remained steadfast in his commitment to dialogue and understanding. His leadership serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for educators nationwide.

In recognition of his exemplary leadership, Dr. Menzel will be awarded a prestigious full-ride master's level scholarship, sponsored by American College of Education, which through an application process will be granted to an emerging leader in his district.

"Dr. Menzel's dedication to fostering understanding and collaboration in the face of challenges exemplifies the spirit of the Resilient Leader Award," said Dr. Jennifer Ferrari, CEO of ERDI. "His commitment to building bridges and finding common ground sets a remarkable example for the education community."

Dr. Menzel's leadership philosophy emphasizes the importance of engagement and dialogue, stating, "In public education, you are either at the table or on the menu." His tireless efforts to bridge political divides and prioritize the needs of students highlight his resilience, diplomacy, and dedication to the betterment of the education system.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Scott Menzel on this well-deserved honor and in celebrating his exceptional contributions to education.

The Education Research & Development Institute (ERDI) serves as a proud convener of district and industry thought leaders collectively committed to ensuring equitable, high-quality education for all. With nearly 40 years of meaningful engagement, ERDI provides a forum for district and industry leaders to collaboratively address top problems of practice in PK-12 education. Through research and development panels, think tanks, symposiums, and rich professional dialog, leaders surface innovative solutions and opportunities to advance public education.

ERDI engagements provide education leaders with the opportunity to influence product and service development, receive professional development, and stay informed on the latest educational developments. For more information about ERDI and its initiatives, visit

American College of Education® (ACE) is an accredited, 100% online college specializing in high-quality, affordable programs in education, business, leadership, healthcare and nursing. ACE is ranked #2 on Newsweek’s 2023 top online colleges list and headquartered in Indianapolis. The college offers more than 60 innovative and engaging doctoral, specialist, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs for adult students, along with graduate-level certificate programs. In addition to being a leader in online education, ACE is a Certified B Corporation and part of a global movement to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Jaime Barraza
Education Research and Development Institute (ERDI)
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