The Superintendents

Rick Miller, Riverside School District (CA)

Michael Fine, Riverside School District (CA)

Rosa Atkins, Charlottesville City Schools (VA)

 Edward Lee Vargas, Kent School District (WA)

Stephen Joel, Lincoln Public Schools (NE)

Dallas Dance, Baltimore County Public Schools (MD)

Bart Rocco, Elizabeth Forward School District (PA)
Eric Williams, York County Schools (VA)

Tom Trigg,  Blue Valley School District (KS)

Lydia Dobyns,  New Tech Network (CA)

Steven Webb, Vancouver Public Schools (WA)

Manuel Isquierdo, Sunnyside SD (TX)

Christine Johns, Utica Community Schools (MI)

Cynthia Elsberry, Horry County Schools (SC)

Kenneth Eastwood, Middletown City (NY)

Vincent Matthews, San Jose School District (CA)

Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to spur innovation in education. The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools is a national coalition of 40 public school districts and education agencies in 24 states that collectively serve nearly 3 million students.

In October, about 25 of the 40 League leaders attended a conference in Michigan. I was commissioned to create head-and-shoulder portraits of the attendees using a simple one-light, one-reflector set-up (we went with a simple set-up so that the images I created could be more easily replicated by other photographers around the country who would photograph the superintendents who could not attend the conference). Above is a collection of images from that session.

In the two or three minutes I had with each subject, my goal was to create portraits that conveyed a genuine sense of each subject's personality. To accomplish that, I encouraged each person to assume whatever expression came most naturally.

When I got to Vincent Matthews, I took a couple of frames of him smiling.

"You're not much for smiling, are you?"


"Me neither. Don't smile."

His deadpan expression juxtaposed against his whimsical tie made for one of my favorite images from the session.

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