Harold L. Bishop Awards for Leaders

Picture of Mike Daria

Dr. Michael J. Daria

Superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Ed.D., Educational Administration, 2006Ed.S., Educational Leadership, 2001M.A., Secondary English Education, 1997B.S.E., Secondary Language Arts, 1995

Dr. Mike Daria is the superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools(TCS).  Not only is Dr. Daria well respected locally, but he is also highly respected and recognized across the state and nation. Dr. Daria has received more than ten awards for leadership including the Community Partner Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Alabama’s Council on Community-based Partnerships, the Alabama Community Education Association Superintendent of the Year Award, and the AlabamaWorks Innovator Award. Dr. Daria models lifelong learning by  participating in professional development opportunities such as National Superintendent Certification and Leadership Alabama. Dr. Daria shares his professional knowledge and skills through professional presentations and publications.

Due to his experience and expertise, Daria is frequently called upon by universities, including UA, to teach graduate level educational leadership courses. He has spoken to Superintendent Academy cohorts where his presentations are consistently motivating.  At the national level, Daria has led sessions at the American Association of School Administrators on multiple occasions. Even more important than Daria’s state and national presence is his impact on the Tuscaloosa City School system. In 1996, Daria started his career as an English teacher with TCS. After four years as a classroom teacher, Daria began a leadership journey that started with a position as an assistant principal and culminated with the superintendency. Always focused on what is best for students, he has led TCS on a path to steady improvement.

James E. McLean Excellence in Education Award

picture of Amos Mansfield

Amos Mansfield

Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) Integration Team Program Director, U.S. Army

B.S.E., Athletic Training, 1996

Amos earned a BS in athletic training from the College. He continued his education at Mercer University where he received his MBA with a concentration in management. After receiving his master’s degree, Amos embarked on an impressive list of jobs across the southeast. Amos is a lifelong learner and shares that love of learning with others. He is a National Athletic Training board certified  and has been a licensed athletic trainer in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Amos has also received advanced instruction in postural restoration and corrective exercise specialists from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

He started his career at Stillman College where he designed and implemented the sports medicine program from the ground up.  When an opening as the head athletic trainer at the University of Memphis was offered, Amos then became the head athletic trainer at the UM directing all aspects of the NCAA Division I Athletic Training /sports medicine program. He supervised the entire AT staff in supporting over 400 student-athletes competing in 19 different sports. He also served as an instructor for sports medicine clinical sites for Troy University, Quinnipiac University, and Delta State University.

Heading back to Mercer as the assistant athletic director and director of the sports medicine program, Amos was responsible for all aspects of the entire sports medicine program, including health care for all 463 student athletes competing in 18 sports. He also used his educational background to train the entire athletic department on several key programs. Amos designed and implemented “return to sport” protocols for COVID-19, developed resocialization protocols for COVID-19, and developed NCAA-approved Concussion Policies and Procedures for his student athletes.

Currently, Amos serves as the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) Integration Team Program Director for the U.S. Army and is responsible for leading an interdisciplinary team comprised of athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, physical and occupational therapists, a cognitive performance specialist, and other subject matter experts. This team travels to all 110 Battalions around the world and educates embedded teams on becoming a “cultural change” agent for the U.S. Army.

Young Alumni Award

picture of Kayla Ballard

Kayla Ballard

Area Coordinator, UA Housing and Residential Communities  

M.A., Higher Education, 2021

Kayla demonstrates a passion for helping students develop and grow. She often utilizes this passion when conducting mediations to help students learn from their mistakes or work together better. Kayla also uses this passion to help develop her staff, often going beyond the planned professional development from the department. She has added additional professional development sessions for her staff to help them grow as student leaders capable of interacting with and helping students from many different backgrounds. Kayla has also demonstrated a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She incorporates this passion into the professional development for her staff, as well as working on departmental initiatives and creating inclusive environments within her buildings.

Kayla’s focus on student and staff development carries over to her full-time work.

As an area coordinator, she guides the graduate assistants she supervises, helping them navigate their own growth as supervisors of student staff. However, Kayla’s guidance doesn’t end with her own supervisees. She is also a mentor to numerous other students, both graduate and undergraduate. She works to help them grow as individuals and young professionals.

Prior to coming to UA, Kayla worked as a teacher in Mississippi. However, teaching continues to be a part of Kayla’s work. She also teaches freshmen students at UA. The course she teaches is designed to help them adjust to their new college environment and to help them persist as students at UA. While teaching this course, she is able to use her diverse skill set to teach students in an engaging manner, to help get them connected on campus, and to help students be successful here at UA.