Elsie Toles Rural Women in Educational Leadership Award

The 2024 Nomination Form is Available NOW!

Fill out the form and send to cherryl.paul@gcu.edu by April 22, 2024.

Elsie TolesAbout the Award

The first woman elected to the position of Arizona superintendent of public instruction, Elsie Toles, is considered one of the most influential women in Arizona education. This award is sponsored by Grand Canyon University and highlights the contributions to rural education by a woman who is  leading a rural school or district.
Candidates for the award can be nominated or can nominate themselves if they meet the following criteria:

- Current female administrator in a rural Arizona public school or district
- At least three years of experience as an administrator
- Each nomination form should be accompanied by a letter of recommendation or self-nomination letter.
- All nominations will include a 250-300 word statement of nomination that can focus on the excelling contributions of the nominee in one of the following areas:
    − Collaboration with rural stakeholders
    − ”Grow Your Own” programs for teachers or school leaders
    − Innovative leadership in a rural setting
    − Student growth and student programs
    − Positive campus climate
    − Shared-use spaces with community and community organizations
    − Advocacy efforts supporting rural education


2023 Elsie Toles Woman in Rural Leadership Award recipient Patty Horn, Northern Arizona University

Patty Horn

Our Past Elsie Toles Woman in Rural Leadership Award Winners:

  • 2022: Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • 2021: Sherry Dorathy, Superintendent Miami Unified School District