Wenatchee school leader receives alumni award

Gene Sharratt, retired superintendent of the North Central Educational Service District in Wenatchee, received Washington State University’s Alumni Achievement Award March 14 in Wenatchee at a gathering of WSU alumni and friends.

He was recognized as “an educator who cares about others and does something positive to help the personal conditions of children.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from WSU in 1972, he taught at most grade levels in Alaska and Washington, and at the International School in Stavanger, Norway. He completed a Ph.D. in education at WSU in 1983, and was elementary school principal in Naches, assistant superintendent in Yelm, and superintendent in Chehalis. During his 11 years with NCESD, he was credited with building the service district into a major educational institution. He retired last June.

“He has had partnership projects with nearly every institution of higher education in this state to provide better service to the educators and children in the NCESD,” wrote Donald C. Orlich, WSU professor emeritus of education, in a letter supporting Sharratt’s nomination for the alumni award.

Sharratt founded “Kids First,” a youth advocacy group that helps children of needy families in the Wenatchee Area by purchasing school materials and clothing, even glasses. He foresaw the need to prepare the workforce in north-central Washington with modern skills and marshaled area leaders in support of the Community Technology Center in Wenatchee.

In 1998 – 1999, he initiated “Honor By Listening,” a project where high school students read Tom Brook’s book, “The Greatest Generation Ever,” and then interviewed World War II veterans. In addition, he is responsible for more than 200 Intermountain AmeriCorps volunteers who tutor Native American and Hispanic children in 29 different school districts in Washington.

“He is this state’s strongest advocate for quality education for all children and is champion of the underdog,” Orlich says. “In short, Gene Sharratt adds social and educational capital to our state.”

Sharratt holds numerous teaching and community leadership awards, including the WSU College of Education “Outstanding Teacher Award” in 1982. He also has published more than 80 papers and articles in professional journals.

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