Glenys Hill and Gay Selby have been selected to receive the College of Education’s Advocate for Education award. The annual recognition is given to individuals or organizations who have shown significant commitment and contributions to the field of education.
Hill has been a leader in establishing inclusivity in educational administration for over 30 years.
She received her doctorate in educational leadership from WSU in 1989. Since then, she has held administrative roles in public schools, including the role of superintendent for 20 years in Deer Park School District, Kelso School District, and Lyle School District.
Hill has been director of the Washington State University Superintendent Preparation Program for six years, during which the percentage of women in the program increased to 50%. She is one of the first women to lead a program of its kind at a major university.
Throughout her time in educational administration and at WSU, she has acted as a mentor to women who are entering a male-dominated field.
Hill has embodied an educational advocate through her important work in diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.
Sharon Kruse, chair of educational leadership and sport management department at WSU Vancouver, has worked with Hill since 2014.
“Schools need to look more like the kids who go there, and [Dr. Hill’s] work is getting us there,” Kruse said.
Hill continues to do research regarding the factors that impact the recruitment of women into the superintendent program, Kruse said.
“Advocacy lies at the heart of leadership and service,” Hill said. “I have sought to ensure tomorrow’s K–12 organizational leaders are committed to leading inclusive systems in which each and every child is able to reach his/her unique goals and fulfill his/her potential.”
Selby has devoted her life to public education through her 30 years in K–12 education and 25 years at WSU Vancouver as a clinical professor in the educational leadership program.
“I firmly believe that public education is the foundation of our democracy,” Selby said. “I have always felt a responsibility to be an advocate for public education and for public school educators.”
For the last 10 years of her time in public education, Selby was superintendent of Kelso School District.
After her retirement from public education, Selby joined WSU Vancouver as a clinical professor, during her time there she served as a mentor to those striving to serve in educational leadership.
The successful WSU Superintendent Preparedness Program’s faculty included Selby, who provided critical experiential guidance to individuals determined to hold superintendent roles.
Sharon Kruse also worked alongside Selby for two years.
“Gay’s a legend,” she said. “She was a trailblazer for women in the principalship to begin with.”
Selby and former WSU College of Education Dean George Brain established the George Brain-Gay Selby Faculty Research Award in Educational Research, which supports faculty and graduate students in their academic work.
“There are dozens, if not well over 100 people across the state that can say they have their career because of the advocacy of Gay,” Kruse said.
Selby’s lifelong hand in educational leadership and commitment to students has proven her inspiring dedication to the field.
Advocate for Education Award presentation
Generally, the award is given as part of the college’s Scholarship and Excellence banquet, in conjunction with WSU’s homecoming. However, due to the global pandemic, this year’s award was presented to Selby and Hill at a luncheon in Vancouver on August 24. WSU Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer, College of Education Dean Mike Trevisan, and college Senior Development Director Jennifer Dean presented the awards to the two individuals.
“They’re the kind of school leaders we hope all of our graduates will become,” Kruse said.