PULLMAN, Wash. — Jim Coolican, state deputy superintendent of public instruction, describes the new certification program for school superintendents offered by the Washington State University College of Education as “a national model that teaches not only how to survive as a superintendent today, but also how to excel as a superintendent.”
On June 23, the first group of students to complete the program, the 1996 to 1998 cohort, and the students in the continuing second group, the 1997 to 1999 cohort, will meet at Pullman.
“This is the only field-based superintendent certification program in Washington,” Coolican said. “This is an excellent program that prepares future superintendents for leadership through hands-on experience.”
The program, entitled Leaders for Tomorrow’s Schools, is designed to prepare principals and other school administrators to become district superintendents with experiences that mirror the challenges that school superintendents now face, explained Dennis Ray, program director. During the two-year program, students work continuously with a mentor who is an established superintendent, communicate regularly using electronic technology, and meet for 16 weekend seminars at sites around Washington.
“This is an entirely new, and certainly superior, program that has a bright future as a model throughout the country,” Coolican summarized.

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NOTE TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES: Reporters and photographers are encouraged to attend a media availability during a meeting of the superintendent certification program students in Room 100 at the Holiday Inn Express, SE 1190 Bishop Blvd., Pullman, at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 23. After meeting with a panel of program graduates, media representatives will be able to interview any program participant during a meeting break in the adjacent conference room.