SPOKANE, Wash. — Two outstanding school administrators, Michele Miller, of the Deer Park School District and Larry Reed of the Selkirk School District, have been honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award sponsored by Washington State University, the Spokane Teachers Credit Union, and Educational Service District 101.

Given to six recipients each year, the award recognizes exemplary leadership within the ESD 101 service area of Northeastern Washington, contribute to a positive impact on students, and provide effective leadership in the school improvement process.

Miller, who serves as principal at Deer Park Elementary School, received the award in May. Reed, who is principal of Selkirk Junior/Senior High School, received the award this month. The awards were presented by leaders from the three sponsoring organizations: Steve Dahlstrom, president and CEO of STCU; ESD 101 Superintendent Terry A. Munther; and Joan Kingrey, director of programs in education at WSU Spokane.

Miller was recognized for her community leadership and its positive impact on the students in the district and the community. 

Whether heading the bond committee or using her invitational style to bring the community into the educational process, Miller “is an outstanding school leader and is known as a community treasure,” said Mick Miller, Deer Park superintendent.

He cited her work in fostering an active learning environment and instilling dedication in her staff, noting that in 2004 the school’s staff won a national award for improving reading among their students.

“Staff works tirelessly to help kids learn to read, write, compute and to get along with each other,” the superintendent said. “I have not observed a building where the staff is more dedicated and this is a tribute to Michele’s leadership.”

Effie Dean, a parent who also nominated Miller, said, “Deer Park is fortunate to have her as principal of the Deer Park Elementary School, where she has been a superior example of a leader in our community.”

Miller received a master’s degree and certification as a principal from Eastern Washington University.

Reed is credited with improving the atmosphere of learning in the small rural school where he hasbeen a teacher for almost 20 years.  Since becoming the principal in 1999, nominators said Reed has fostered pride, attitude, and respect in the school and promoted the theme of “Imagine, Believe, Achieve.” 

“People coming into our building for the first time almost inevitably remark about the pride, respect and genuinely good attitude of our students,” said Rev Villegas, a teacher in the school. “Can one person change a school? Yes, emphatically yes!  Is our school different because of Larry Reed? Yes.”

Nancy Lotze, the district’s director of special services, curriculum, and technology, said, “In a regional area described as remote, rural, and with high levels of poverty, Selkirk students can compete with the best districts across the state.  Out of 233 districts, Selkirk students ranked third in reading, fourth in science, and 24th in writing on the 2004 10th grade WASL – definitely a testament to the efforts this school has taken in the school improvement process under Larry’s leadership.”

Reed received his master’s degree from Whitworth College and holds a principal certification from Eastern Washington University.

Nomination forms for Excellence in Leadership Awards are available through the Web sites of WSU Spokane, STCU, and ESD 101.  For information, contact Kelly LaGrutta, WSU Spokane, at lagrutta@wsu.edu or (509) 358-7942.

About WSU Spokane

WSU Spokane programs in education include program administrator certification; principal’s certification; superintendent’s credentials; a post-master’s school psychology certificate; student teaching placements; the master’s in teaching for career-changing adults who received a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to teach; and the doctor in education.

About Spokane Teachers Credit Union

Spokane Teachers Credit Union is the largest credit union in Eastern Washington, and the third largest credit union in the state, with more than 70,000 members and more than $700 million in assets.  This year marks the 70th anniversary serving the Spokane community. STCU currently operates eight branch locations, seven in Spokane County and one in Newport.

About Educational Service District 101

ESD 101 is a district providing services to K-12 schools on a cooperative, regional basis. Services are offered to 59 public school districts and 46 state-approved private schools in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.

Web sites:

–WSU Spokane Education Programs: www.education.spokane.wsu.edu
–Excellence in Leadership page: www.education.spokane.wsu.edu/excellence
–Spokane Teachers Credit Union: www.stcu.org
–Educational Service District 101: www.esd101.net
Two Honored as First to Receive Educational Leadership Award (Feb. 14, 2005): http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=5038