Superintendent program receives statewide award

PULLMAN — A program to prepare leaders for the task of running school districts has won statewide recognition for WSU.
The Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD) will bestow its 2008 Program Award on WSU’s Superintendent Certification Program at the association’s Nov. 7 conference.
“This outstanding education program has had a dramatic influence on instructional leaders across the state,” said Michelle Price, a former participant in the program and now assistant superintendent of the Moses Lake School District.
 In her letter nominating the program for the award, she praised its collaborative nature “that allows for participants to share and learn from each other regardless of current position, experience or size of district. The WSU faculty builds strong working relationships with participants and supports each person in mastering leadership skills.”
Nancy Coogan, principal at Olympic View Middle
School, Mukilteo School District, speaks at class
the WSU Superintendent Certification program
(directed by Gene Sharratt, standing).
Photo by

Nearly half of the practicing superintendents in Washington are graduates of the program, which is based at WSU Spokane. The program takes two years to complete, and is designed for working professionals. It is research-based and requires participants to develop and apply their professional “theory of action” while focusing on quality teaching and learning, effective leadership, support for system-wide improvement and clear and collaborative relationships. 

The certification program was revitalized in the 1990s in keeping with more stringent state requirements for administrators, noted another nominator, Franklin Pierce Schools Superintendent Frank Hewins.
“Now, 12 years and over 300 students later, the program is stronger than ever,” Hewins wrote. “Evolving to fit the needs of 21st century instructional leaders, the program’s new director, Dr. Gene Sharratt, has placed social justice at the heart of system leaders’ work.”
Judy Nichols Mitchell, dean of the WSU College of Education, praised Sharratt and former director Dennis Ray, both members of the WSU Spokane faculty.
“Special congratulations to Gene and to Dennis, before him, for their vision and leadership and the countless things they have done to continually improve the program over the years,” Mitchell said. 
For more information on the Superintendent Certification Program, contact Sharratt,, 509-358-7689, or check on-line at

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