By C. Brandon Chapman, College of Education
PULLMAN, Wash. – Alumnus and former faculty member Gene Sharratt recently received the annual Advocate for Education Award from the Washington State University College of Education for promotion of good educational practice or policy at the state, regional or national level.
“On paper his experience is impressive, but what really makes him stand out is the impact this experience has had on students, colleagues and the overall field of education,” said college dean Mike Trevisan.
“Gene is the most connected, influential and uplifting educator in our state,” said Gary Kipp, executive director for the Association of Washington School Principals. “He has positively impacted the lives of teachers, principals and superintendents throughout Washington, and in turn influenced the learning experiences of students. I believe he contains the DNA from Socrates, Mother Teresa and the Energizer Bunny.”
WSU alumnus, former education faculty
Sharratt became executive director for the state Association of Educational Service Districts in July after more than 40 years in education. He provides support for the state’s nine ESDs, their administration and the state superintendent’s office that includes strategic initiatives and professional development programs to increase teacher quality and raise student achievement.
He was a teacher, principal, school superintendent and ESD superintendent for 30 years in the K-12 system in public and private schools in Washington, Alaska and Norway.
He spent 10 years as an assistant and associate clinical professor for the WSU College of Education and was director of the college’s school superintendent program. He served three years on Gov. Jay Inslee’s cabinet as executive director for the Washington Student Achievement Council.
He graduated twice from WSU, with a bachelor’s degree (’72) in elementary education, and a Ph.D. (’83) in curriculum.
Drawn by WSU mission for equity, opportunity
“I was attracted to WSU because I identified with the mission around equity and opportunity for all students,” Sharratt said. “Since that time, the majority of my career was in communities with large numbers of students of color and areas of high poverty. WSU made a huge difference in how well I was prepared for this.
“So the Advocate for Education Award is particularly special as it complements the mission of WSU and the College of Education,” he said.
ESD 101 superintendent Michael Dunn commended Sharratt as a team player whose collaboration helps others.
“From K-12 through higher education, Gene inspires and supports the best in everyone with whom he works, and his perspective is always about building success together,” Dunn said. “He knows that we are better together, and he is the leader everyone turns to and in whom we all have ultimate confidence.”