NOTE: Media representatives are welcome to attend any part of the Issaquah seminar. Contact Dennis Ray by Oct. 31 for agenda or to make arrangements to attend.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Roughly two-thirds of Washington’s future superintendents (student interns in any of the five superintendent certification programs in the state) are enrolled in the Washington State University preparation program, Leaders for Tomorrow’s Schools.

The program provides direct experience in the challenges that face today’s superintendents. The interns — principals and administrators from districts across the state — meet eight times annually for weekend seminars at locations around Washington and communicate electronically between sessions, said associate professor Dennis Ray, who created and directs the program.

The program’s November seminar will be held from 4:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Holiday Inn, 1801 12th Ave. NW, in Issaquah.

According to Doyle Winter, executive director of the Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington is experiencing a serious shortage of school superintendents as many administrators reach retirement age, and the WSU program is providing an important source of qualified administrators.

“In the last two years in Washington, 130 of the state’s 285 school superintendent positions became vacant,” Winter said. “Since the program’s creation in 1996, WSU’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Schools has helped us avert a critical shortage of school administrators by providing quality preparation and by attracting and educating most of the administrators earning superintendent certification in Washington.”