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Educational leadership expands to south Puget Sound
PUYALLUP, Wash. – Sometimes, if it isn’t broken, you do want to fix it.
Case in point is an educational leadership program that was so successful it needed to be expanded.
Washington State University Vancouver has offered the school principal/program administrator credential programs in southwest Washington since it was established more than 20 years ago. Approximately 225 students from the WSUV College of Education programs are in leadership positions throughout the state.
But to the north, in the south Puget Sound region, a huge population of working teachers, counselors and others has found it difficult to attend night classes in distant Vancouver.
So this year, WSUV has added a second section in Puyallup near Tacoma. After almost a year of planning, recruiting and organizing, 16 enrolled students met for the first time last week.
“Based on population, I believe this program has the potential to become the largest principal preparation program in the WSU system,” said Gay Selby, a former Pullman High School principal who works with the WSUV programs. “There are a lot of schools in this new area, a lot of teachers.”
The effort was led by Glenn Malone, a recent WSU doctor of education graduate and director of assessment, accountability and student success for the Puyallup School District.
“The Puyallup School Board and the leadership of the school district are delighted to partner with WSUV to fill a very real need in the region,” said superintendent Timothy S. Yeomans. “We look forward to a positive and mutually beneficial working relationship.”
“There was definitely a need to expand,” Selby said. “The world for school leaders is changing really quickly and there are a lot of demands, such as the state’s new teacher/principal evaluation and new assessment, Smarter Balanced.
“The WSUV programs have really helped professionals living in one section of the state, and now we can continue building a learning organization in both places,” she said.
The Puyallup courses take place the same days and times as those in Vancouver. Selby said this should enhance future potential to combine students’ learning in innovative ways.
Program leaders hope the expansion will help create a more diverse group of students, she said, including students who work in urban school districts.
“I’m particularly excited because I think this opens up opportunities for a wider range of experience for students at both locations and opportunities for students to work with a wider variety of practitioners in the field, as well as with college faculty,” she said.
The Puyallup School District made its administration building available for classes. A leadership seminar meets on Tuesday nights while the Thursday night class covers assessment of learning.