WASA Honorary Awards

WASA annually honors and recognizes outstanding educational administrators and individuals in other professions who have made extraordinary contributions to K–12 education.

Based on the award type for which a person is nominated, the Committee will make the following considerations:

  • Could the nominee be considered a positive change agent in public education locally or at the state level?
  • Has the nominee positively affected one or more areas: Program development, staff morale, community support, student interest, learning environment, or general support for public education?
  • Has the nominee provided creative leadership in inspiring or motivating others to achieve or contribute to public education?
  • Has the nominee personally provided a special service or achieved above and beyond what is expected in the usual public school program?
  • Have others recognized the nominee as a force for constructive change in public education at the community and/or state level.

STATE AWARDS 

  • Golden Gavel Award. The recipient shall be an individual, group, association, or firm that has made an outstanding contribution to public education in the state of Washington. The contribution to education should have statewide application and be of lasting value. This award does not require current or past WASA membership. One recipient per year (award not necessarily given every year).
  • Barbara Mertens Legacy Award. Presented to an individual or group who has had a significant impact on public education in Washington—a legacy that has a lasting influence. The person or group does not have to be a member of WASA. The award comes with a $1,000 gift from D.A. Davidson & Company that is awarded to a school, foundation, or similar in the awardee's name and at his/her direction. One recipient per year (award not necessarily given every year). 
  • Service to WASA Award. The recipient shall have made contributions at the state level toward goals of WASA and shall not be a voting member of WASA. One recipient per year (award not necessarily given every year).
  • WASA Leadership Award. This award is presented to a selected WASA member who demonstrates and exemplifies outstanding leadership abilities and has made significant contributions to the field of education on a statewide level. Each region may nominate one individual from that region. The nominee must be a current member of WASA for a minimum of two years. One recipient per year.



REGION AWARDS  

  • WASA Student Achievement Leadership Award (one award per region). Recognizes innovative programs for the improvement of student achievement. This award is presented to select WASA members who have provided leadership for the implementation of an innovation that has resulted in measurable growth in student achievement. Ideally, the innovation can serve as a tool for modeling new programs. Each region shall nominate one individual. The nominee must be a current and active WASA member for a minimum of TWO years.
  • Award of Merit (one award per region). The recipient of this award shall have demonstrated effective leadership at the region level and have made a significant contribution to WASA through his/her work in the field of education in Washington. The nominee must be a current and active member of WASA for a minimum of THREE years.
  • Community Leadership Award. (WASA provides one plaque; additional plaques will be paid by region). This award is presented to community members or groups in recognition of their outstanding contributions toward education. Recipients are non-WASA members. Specific criteria includes: benefit to students, leadership, motivation, success, cooperation/coordination with local district, recognition by others, and history of service. One or more recipients per region, per year.
  • Twenty-Year Award (self-nomination). Recognizes individual’s years of service to education. This award shall be granted to any school administrator who has served as an administrator for 20 years in public school districts. The recipient must have been a member of WASA for TEN years.
  • Retirement Award (self-nomination). Honors service to the profession. The recipient must be retiring from his/her administrative responsibilities and no longer eligible for active WASA membership. The recipient must be a current member of WASA.

Awards History

2018 WASA Honorary Awards


WASA Recognizes Exemplary Educational Leaders at the 2018 WASA Summer Conference

Statewide Awards

Golden Gavel Award

Ben Bagherpour
Vice President of Quality, IT, and Support Services, SEH America

Barbara Mertens Legacy Award

Dr. Bill Keim
Executive Director, WASA

WASA Leadership Award

Jim Kowalkowski
Superintendent, Davenport School District

Service to WASA Award

Warren Hopkins 
Executive Director, ERNN

2018 Region Awards


Award of Merit
Region 101                          Kevin Foster, Valley School District
Region 105                          Shane Backlund, Selah School District
Region 108                          Ron Spanjer, Blaine School District
Region 109                          Marci Larsen, Mukilteo School District
Region 111                          Dr. Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce Schools
Region 112                          Glenn Gelbrich, Kelso School District
Region 113                          Kim Fry, Rochester School District
Region 123                          Dr. Ray Tolcacher, Prosser School District
Region 171                          Dr. Richard Johnson, Okanogan School District

WASA Student Achievement Leadership Award

Region 101                         Nathan Smith, Colton School District
Region 105                         John Schieche, East Valley School District, Yakima
Region 108                         Cynthia Simonsen, Anacortes School District
Region 111                          Dr. Vincent Pecchia, Puyallup School District
Region 112                          Andrew Kelly, Lyle School District
Region 113                          Mary Lou Bissett, Chehalis School District
                                            Ed Rothin, Chehalis School District
                                            Chris Woods, Chehalis School District
Region 171                          Scott Sattler, Bridgeport School District

Twenty-Year Award
Region 110                          Mark Davidson, Federal Way Public Schools
Region 123                          Gregg Taylor, North Franklin School District

Retirement Award
Region 105                           Margartita C. Lopez, Granger School District
Region 105                           Linda Martin, Thorp School District
Region 105                           Minerva Morales, Mabton School District
Region 105                           Daniel Murray, Wapato Public Schools
Region 108                           Tom Churchill, Meridian School District
Region 108                           Cynthia Simonsen, Anacortes School District
Region 110                           Mark Davidson, Federal Way Public Schools
Region 110                           Debbie Leighton, Auburn School District
Region 111                           Dr. Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce Schools
Region 112                           Glenn Glebrich, Kelso School Districts
Region 114                           Chris Willits, North Kitsap School District
Region 114                           Dr. Marc Jackson, Port Angeles School District
Region 123                           Dr. Lou Gates, Columbia-Burbank School District
Region 123                           Gregg Taylor, North Franklin School District
Region 123                           Ray Tolcacher, Prosser School District
Region 171                           Dr. Lois Davies, Pateros School District
Region 171                           Dr. Richard Johnson, Okanogan School District
Region 171                           Cathi Nelson, Waterville School District     
Region 171                           Dr. Jerry Simon, Ephrata School District

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