Celebrating WASA's 50th Anniversary

WASA is turning 50!

WASA has compiled a list of history facts to get to know us better. You can see our monthly additions to this on the WASA newsletters.

Did you know?
  • The Washington Association of School Administrators had its origin as the Department of Administration and Supervision in the Washington Education Association in the 1950s. A major impetus to the growth of an association for administrators occurred when the WEA dropped non-teachers from membership. WASA, emerging from the early superintendents' group, was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation in June 1972. In the early years, one main conference was held each year. A major step was taken in 1974 with the employment of a part-time Executive Secretary. Murray Taylor served both WASA and the School Information and Research Service (SIRS) until 1977.
  • WASA Hotline was established in 1971 during the legislative session to keep WASA’s membership informed about the status of legislation important to schools. In addition, Hotline was sent to members monthly to provide information on events to report or action to suggest. During the session in 1975, members received Hotline and a weekly newsletter called Target as changes occurred in education legislation. 
  • WASA was originally housed in a motel room next to the WSSDA office. At that time, the staffing included one executive and a half-time clerical person.  
  • In 1981, the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) was invited to join WASA for the first annual Joint Summer Conference. This began what is now a forty-year tradition: The WASA /AWSP Summer Conference.
  • WASA superintendents have been selected as finalists nine times as the National Superintendent of the Year

2021  Michelle Reid, Northshore 
2016  Steve Webb, Vancouver
2011  Mary Alice Heuschel, Renton
2007  Larry Nyland, Marysville
2006  Ben Soria, Yakima
2002  Steve Rasmussen, Franklin Pierce
1996  Janet Barry, Central Kitsap
1993  Brian Benzel, Edmonds 
1991  Jerry Hester, Spokane  

Two were selected National Superintendent of the YearJanet Barry and Michelle Reid. Click here to see the entire listing of WASA Superintendents of the Year, going back to 1988.   

  • WASA's Code of Ethics was created in 1974. The Code set standards of ethical behavior to which members were and are expected to adhere. The standards reflect the honor and dignity of the profession of school administration. See WASA's Code of Ethics here.

  • WASA's This Week in Olympia, or TWIOwas first published in January 1992 to keep members informed with up-to-date minute updates on legislative session. Members received issues of TWIO through FAX. TWIO, published weekly, remains to this day, the primary source of information and updates for WASA members leading into, during, and immediately following the legislative session each year. 

  • Since the early days of WASA, corporate sponsors have been a valued partner of our association. The WASA Corporate Partners Program was originally initiated to provide opportunities to our membership. These 30 partners support WASA through sponsorship of special activities, awards, and scholarships. They also provide support through more traditional avenues, such as sponsoring speakers and dinners for professional learning events, enabling us to offer superior professional learning opportunities at an affordable price for WASA members. 

You can find out more about WASA's history by exploring the tabs below!

Our 50th Anniversary Sponsors

A big thank you to our sponsors during our 50th year!

WASA Through the Decades

WASA has grown tremendously over the past 50 years. Explore the tabs below to find out more in-depth details of our history. 



The Washington Association of School Administrators had its origin as the Department of Administration and Supervision in the Washington Education Association in the 1950s. A major impetus to the growth as an association for administrators occurred when the WEA dropped non-teachers from membership.  

WASA was governed by a constitution and bylaws and standing rules. 

The purposes of the Association were exclusively educational and charitable, with the intent of promoting the improvement and advancement of education and public interest in improved schools. 

In the early years, the Association was managed by elected officers and was still primarily an organization of superintendents. One main conference was held each year and some volunteer efforts were made in the legislative arena.

Membership determined in the Association’s 1965 constitution consisted of active, associate, and honorary members. 

Officers and the Determined Board
Officers of the Association were composed of a President and President-elect. The Executive Board was composed of:

  • President
  • President-elect
  • Immediate past president
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • One representative for each congressional districts 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7
  • Two representatives from the fourth congressional district
  • Two representatives from the fifth congressional district

WASA's first logo was created in 1967.


Job-alike Categories

As members joined WASA, they had the opportunity to select a job-alike category or categories in which they wished to be identified with. Job-alike groups elected chairpersons and vice-chairpersons annually from members of their special interest category. The job-alike groups held meetings for in-service, made presentations at conferences, and represented WASA in their special interest category throughout the state.

Examples of the job-alike categories included:

  • Special Education

  • Superintendents

  • Vocational Directors

  • General Administration

  • Principals

  • Business Services

  • Personnel Administrators

  • Curriculum & Instruction Specialists

  • Negotiators

  • Pupil Services

  • Federal Project Management

  • Grants Manager 

In 1975, the WASA membership voted unanimously to broaden the scope of the organization to encompass the entire administrative team.
In January 1976, WASA became a broadly-based organization with 35 different job categories.

Women Administrators
In 1976, Monica Schmidt and Mona Bailey, Assistant Superintendents of SPI, approached President-elect Bob Sealey, regarding the need for greater involvement of women administrators in WASA.

Sealey informed the Board that the Association should create a climate where women administrators could feel they have a voice in the organization. This would pave the way for WASA's first female president in the next decade. 

WASA Regions
WASA members were eligible to participate in a WASA region organization. Each region elected a President, President-elect, Secretary-treasurer, and delegates to the Representative Assembly each year. Regions included: 

Region 101
Region 104
Region 105
Region 108
Region 109
Region 110
Region 111
Region 112
Region 113
Region 114
Region 123
Region 167/171 

WASA Board

  • President

  • President-elect

  • Past President

  • Region 101 Representative

  • Region 105 Representative

  • Region 108 Representative

  • Region 109 Representative

  • Region 110 Representative

  • Region 111 Representative

  • Region 112 Representative

  • Region 113 Representative

  • Region 114 Representative

  • Region 123 Representative

  • Region 171 Representative


Standing Committees and Sub-Committees 
The lifeline of WASA has been the activity of its committees. Each WASA region was allowed one representative on each committee. Standing Committees consisted of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and a representative from each WASA region. Committees and subcommittees included the following: 

  • Legislative and Finance

    • Federal Legislation

    • Building Liaison

    • ESD

    • Small Schools

    • Intermediate Districts

    • Negotiations

  • Ad Hoc Bylaws

  • Collective Bargaining

  • Resolutions

  • Honorary Awards

  • Special Services and Benefits

    • Membership

    • Publication

  • Professional Development

  • Curriculum and Instruction

  • Professional Standards and Ethics Committee

  • Membership

Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc committees were named by the president of the association for study of specific topics or concern.  

Implementation of a Representative Assembly 
At the 1975 WASA Summer Conference, WASA membership unanimously approved implementing a Representative Assembly type of governance. The purpose of the Representative Assembly was to develop policies for translating the purposes of WASA into action programs. Delegate members included nine from standing committees, ten job-alike groups, 15 members of the board of directors, and 25 regional representatives. 

“United We Stand, Divided We Fall” 
WASA joined the Washington State School Directors Association and the Association of Washington School Principals in a cooperative legislative effort to challenge the WEA. 

Confederation of Washington School Administrators (CWSA) 
The Confederation was established in December 1974 for administrators to become more effective and efficient through joint participation. They spoke as one group on legislation that affected education and to communicate concern to the public. Members included:

Session Themes 

  • “WASA On the Move”

  • “The Times, They Are a’ Changin'”

  • “United we Stand, Divided we Fall”

  • “In Unity There is Strength” 


  • “A Year of Change”

  • “The Only Thing That’s Constant is Change” 

Examples of Key Education Legislation:

Full Funding for Schools
Special Levy Relief
Professional Negotiations
Collective Bargaining
Teacher Continuing Contract Law
Teacher Pensions
Teachers’ Right to Strike
Tax Reform
Student Transportation
Student Testing
Student Discipline
Funding for Special Education
Basic Education Bill 

School Administration Special Services (SASS)
SASS offered WASA members quality coverage and broad long-lasting benefits including:

  • Group Term Life Insurance

  • Professional Liability Insurance

  • Income Protection

  • Automotive Lease Plan

  • Travel

  • PEMCO Home insurance

  • Family Life Plan

  • Washington School Employees Credit Union


WASA Professional Development
Fall Conference
Summer Conference
Special Education Conference
Negotiators Conference
In-service Workshops (i.e., Child Abuse Awareness Workshop)
Leadership Conference
Seminars (i.e., Small Schools Seminar, Financial and Retirement Planning for the Washington State School Administrator)
Project Leadership 


In 1972, IPAC considered the question, “What can we, as school administrators do to most positively affect student success in Washington States K-12 schools?”

The component identified seven issues critical to student success:

  1. Significant Student Outcomes for K-12

  2. Improved Student Assessment

  3. Increased Community, Parent and Staff Involvement

  4. Relevant Curriculum for the Future

  5. Improved Program Evaluation

  6. Diversity and Equity Considerations

  7. Improved Staff/Parent/Community Training

A report was developed to address the issues, entitled “Improving Student Success in Washington State’s K-12 Schools.”

was established in 1971 during the legislative session to keep WASA’s membership informed about the status of legislation important to schools. In addition, Hotline was sent to members monthly to provide information on events to report or action to suggest.                                                                             

During the session in 1975, members received Hotline and a weekly newsletter called Target as changes occurred in education legislation.  

1977 Hotline logo

Other Publications
Examples of publication in the early years were:

  • WASA’s Code of Ethics was established in 1974

  • First Aid Kit for the Superintendent Selection Process

  • Legal Considerations Regarding Strikes in Washington State 


WASA's Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics was first created in 1974. The Code sets standards of ethical behavior, which members are expected to follow so that they will reflect honor and dignity of the profession of school administration. These are updated to reflect our organization each year. Follow the link above to view an updated version. 

The decade of the 1980s continued the growth and expansion of WASA that began in the latter part of the 1970s.  

WASA’s New Address
May 1980 
210 East Union  
Olympia, WA 98501 

Dr. Howard Coble

WASA Executive Director from 1980–91.





Kris Van Gorkom

Kris joined the WASA Executive Team in October 1984 as Assistant Executive Director, Legislative Information and Research.

John Fotheringham

In 1986, former superintendent of the South Central School District joined the WASA staff as Associate Executive Director. 

WASA’s First Female PresidentMaryann Johnson 

In 1987, Maryann Johnson became the first female, non-superintendent to be WASA’s president. During her presidency, she became an expert and effective advocate for reorganization


Project Leadership 
WASA received a $8,220 grant for work in cooperation with Oregon and Alaska on Project Leadership, a management improvement project funded by the National Institute of Education (NIE). Project Leadership held its first training conference in 1981 with almost 100 in attendance. This professional development program became a national model for training programs. 
WASA/AWSP Summer Conference1982 WASA/AWSP Summer Conference Yakima

In 1981, the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) was invited to join WASA for the first annual Joint Summer Conference.  

1982 Summer Conference Presenter, Carolyn Warner

 WASA/AWSP Summer Conference Themes

1980 Complexity of Leadership—Styles for the 80s 
1981  Together for the Challenge of the 80s 
1989 WASA/AWSP Summer Conference Attendees, Milt Snyder and Dennis Ray
1982  Education—An Asset in Washington 
1983  Future Schools 

1984  Quest for Quality…Measuring Up 
1985  Equity with Excellence 
1986  This One’s for You? 
1987  Kids Are Our Best Investment 
1988  Let’s Celebrate: We’re Doing Great!!! 
1989 Challenge of the 90s: The Changing Role of School Administrators 

Leadership in Educational Administrator Development (LEAD) Program 
WASA, in cooperation with AWSP, received a federally funded grant to operate the LEAD program. The program began in 1987 and developed excellent professional growth opportunities for aspiring administrators.  
TEAM Energy 
In 1988, WASA received a grant from the Washington State Energy Office to provide a program called TEAM Energy to increase energy awareness and other cost-effective training for school districts.
Additional WASA Conferences and Seminars
  • Small Schools Conference 
  • Aspiring Administrators 
  • WASA/AWSP Administrative Team Workshop 
  • WASA Grants Managers Conference 
  • WASA Superintendents Conference 
  • WASA Leadership Conference 
  • WASA New Superintendents Workshop 
  • Small Schools Drive-In Conference 
  • WASA Fall Conference 
  • Special Education Alike Conference 
  • Job Alike Conferences 
  • WASA Excellence Conference 
  • WASA Self Study Workshop 
  • WASA First Class Superintendents Conference 
  • WASA/WSSDA School Budget Awareness Workshop 
  • WASA/WSSDA School Construction Conference 
  • Special Education Mentor Program 
  • School Budget Awareness Workshop 
  • Administrative Team Workshop 
  • Negotiators Legislative Conference 
Education Leadership Team
WASA, WSSDA, and AWSP worked for more than a decade together to improve the quality of educational opportunity. The efforts focused both on the legislative arena and with training programs to increase the skills of those who lead schools. In September 1987, the officers of WASA WSSDA, and AWSP reaffirmed their commitment to team effort.
Employee Relations and Negotiations Network (ERNN) 

A new partnership with the Washington Association of School Personnel Administrators (WASPA) established the Employee Relations and Negotiations Network as an additional service for school administrators. 

WASA Contracts 
The School Information and Research Service (SIRS) and the Washington In-Service Education Fund affiliated as independent organizations operated under a management contract by WASA. 

1989 WASA Leadership Conference

WASA President-elect Larry Nyland outlines his plans for a WASA Strategic Planning Session. 
Steve Deal, 1989–90 WASA Region 101 President-elect, during a planning session of future region presidents.


Goals as Determined at WASA Leadership Conferences 
WASA members included region presidents, job-alike chairpersons, committee chairpersons, and members of the Board of Directors.

Click here to view the goals broken down by year. 


  • Supplemental Budget 
  • Tax Reform and Adequate Revenue 
  • Preservation of the Defined Basic Education Program 
  • Restoration of Cuts 
  • Full Funding of the Basic Education Act 
  • Maintaining the Current Levy Lid and Equalization of Tax Rate for Levies 
  • School Construction 
  • Salary Improvements for Educational Employees 
  • Full Funding of Non-employee Related Costs for Basic Education, Vocational Educations, Skill Centers, and Special Programs. 
  • COLAs for Current and Retired TRS 1 and PERS 1 Members. 

Governmental Relations 
In 1980, WASA expanded its governmental relations efforts with the employment of Bill Lahmann as project director to head the department.
A feasibility study was conducted to determine whether a legislative digest service could be developed by utilizing a telephone link between school district computers and WASA equipment.

Communicating With Members During Session
A feasibility study was conducted to determine whether a legislative digest service could be developed by utilizing a telephone link between school district computers and WASA equipment.

Legislature in Special Session
In 1985, Governor Booth Gardner signed SB 3350 into law. Present were the Governor (seated) and standing left to right, Senator Marc Gaspard, Carol Nelson representing the Garfield School District, Senator Pat Patterson, WASA Executive Director Howard Coble, and WSSDA Assistant Director Ben Edlund. SB3350 created a pilot project that permitted joint operation of small school districts.


In 1987, WASA started a reorganization due to a need caused by a growth in WASA membership. According to the WASA Self-Assessment Task Force, "A doubling of WASA membership in the last decade and the disparate growth among component groups and regions created very unequal representation in the WASA governance and decision-making processes."

The new structure was created to develop stronger component groups without diminishing the effectiveness of the regions.


In 1988, the WASA Board approved the Special Housing Taskforce recommendation to purchase a 6,400 square foot office building in Olympia that would serve members for many years.


In March 1981, Dr. Stevenson, superintendent of Shoreline School District for 18 years and past president of WASA, became president of AASA.

Washington Superintendent of Shoreline School District, Dr. William G. Stevenson, installed as President of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)


WASA Conferences, Programs, and Institutes Included: 

  1. WASA/WCASE/OSPI Special Education Institute
  2. WASA Strategic Planning Training Program
  3. WASA Fall Conference
  4. WASA/WSSDA Legislative Conference
    • 1990 Tomorrow’s Students: Changing Needs, Changing Times
    • 1991 New Paradigms—Reinventing Our Schools 
    • 1992 Caring to the Core
    • 1993 Visionary—Celebrating Leadership
    • 1994 Windows for Success
    • 1995 Pulling Together for Kids
    • 1996 Educational Leaders—Champions of Children
    • 1997 Education in Washington: A Proud Legacy and a Promising Future
    • 1998 Changes, Challenges in School Reform Choices: Face It, Embrace It
    • 1999 Going for the Gold! Leadership from the Heart
  5. AWSP/WASA and LEAD Consortium Conference
  6. WASA Small Schools Conference
  7. WASA/AWSP Summer Conference
  8. WASA Superintendent Component Group Conference
  9. WASA Leadership Academy
  10. WASA/AWSP Administrative Team Workshop
  11. Aspiring Leaders Workshop
  12. WASA Grant-Writing Workshop
  13. WASA/WSSDA School Facilities Conference
  14. Teamship Academy


Services offered:

  1. WASA Strategic Management Services
  2. WASA Management and Operational Reviews
    • WASA’s Management and Operational Review Program offered a process, methodology, and study approach for Washington school districts to use, regardless of size. The program was designed to analyze the management capabilities of a district through a detailed internal review of its operations and system.
  3. Strike Management
  4. Construction Planning
  5. Financial Planning Services
  6. Legislative Services
  7.  WASA EduPortal (new in 2000)
    • An internet-based tool featuring a powerful rapid-search process, a database of information critical to administration, and the ability to enter school district documents for efficient management, communication, and retrieval

Get Answers Fast Via the WASA Website

The WASA website, www.wasa-oly.org, was up and running in April 1999 for WASA members to receive legislative, professional development, and governance information.

Professional Development Programs
Project Leadership
To promote continued professional development on cutting edge issues and management within a networking environment.

Leadership Academy
The WASA Board approved establishment of the WASA Leadership Academy with the first institute held in July 1993. The Leadership Academy was focused on administrators who qualified for their position through formal academic and certification requirements and wanted to hone their personal leadership skills. 

LEAD Outreach
To identify, recruit, and acquaint prospective administrators with school administration and to enhance the skills of early career administrators.


Infographic from March 2000 Hotline
  1. Washington State School Strike Information Manual
  2. Improving Student Success
  3. How We Fund Our SchoolsA Joint Effort of WASA, SIRS, WSSDA, and the Washington Research Council
  4. The AMAZE-ing Reform PuzzlePutting it all Together
  5. WASA’s Supervision and Evaluation to Education Reform Toolkit

In January 1992, WASA began a new publication called This Week in Olympia (TWIO)  to keep members informed with up-to-date minute updates on legislative action. Members received issues by way of broadcast FAX.


WASA Legislative Platform

Retirement Issues
Restructuring to Improve Student Learning
Levy Equalization
School Construction
Health care benefits for retirees
Administrative Salaries


Extended Staff School Year
School Construction
Improved Adult/Student Ration
Program related


School Funding
Simple Majority
Education Reform
School Construction
Educational Options
Safe Schools

Volunteer Employees Benefit Association (VEBA) III Plan
In June 1991, Governor Booth Gardner signed SHB 1358. With the signing of the bill, districts were able to provide a medical expense reimbursement plan in lieu of annual sick leave cash-out to be used for tax free medical benefits both before and after retirement.


1992 ESHB 5952—The New Restructuring Bill

  • Repeals the master’s degree requirement.
  • Extends the provisional period for teachers from one year to two years.
  • Requires the State Board of Education to study certification issues and report back to the Legislature.
  • Revised the powers of local school boards.
  • Permits the State Board to grant waivers to specific Basic Education requirements.
  • Establishes a Commission on Student Learning.


  • Legislative Effectiveness
  • Student Success
  • Professional Training
  • Public Relations
  • Funding Sources
  • Member Services 

1998 WASA Board:.Top (left to right): Maggie Thompson, Bruce Hawkins, Joe Ghaffari, Jerry Hansen, Chuck Anderson, Becky Imler, Dennis Carter. Middle: Peter Ansingh, Rick Cole, Jim Shoemake, Chuck Stocker, Harry Amend, Randy Hauff. Front row: Jack Hill Dennis Ray, Gretchen McCauley, Steve Rasmussen, Debbie Aungst.

  • Increase influence with legislators and the Legislature by developing a stronger coalition with other education organizations, the business community, and the general public.
  • Continue to promote professional development, accountability, and responsibility in education reform.
  • Identify and develop emerging leaders with emphasis on diversity and non-superintendents.
  • Encourage stronger WASA governance by strengthening component and committee activities.
  • Initiate strategies to demonstrate administrators as advocates for kids and public education.
  • Influence legislation.
  • Communicate effectively and in a timely fashion.
  • Review WASA’s mission and vision.
  • Review structure of components and standing committees.
  • Develop resource teams to assist districts with student accountability.

The Governor’s Council on Education Reform and Funding was established by former Governor Booth Gardner to develop a plan for reforming education in Washington. A 21 member “Blue Ribbon Council," and its various sub-committees worked for 18 months to finalize recommendations in December 1992. WASA supported the final report. 
Key concepts in the final GCERF report:

  • Redefine learning goals for our students.
  • Performance assessment linked to learning goals.
  • New professional standards for teachers and administrators.
  • Sufficient deregulation to restore local decision-making.
  • Increased accountability for achieving desired student outcomes.
  • Additional time for staff and organization development.

HB 1209 and SB 5306
House Bill 1209 and Senate Bill 5306, the 1993 Education Reform Bills, were introduced to the Legislature. Both of these bills contained essentially all of the GCERF’s recommendations.

  • Establish the State Student Learning Goals.
  • Expand and modify the responsibilities of the Commission on Student Learning.
  • Put forth six additional provisions for education.

Commission on Student Learning (CSL)
The Commission on Student Learning was established by Substitute Senate Bill 5953, which was passed on the final day of the 1992 Legislative Session.  Responsibilities were expanded to 12 duties and fiscal oversight was shifted from the Office of Financial Management to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
WASA monitored and testified regarding the Education Reform Bills daily due to this controversial highlight in the 1993 session.
4th Grade Accountability Task Force Recommendations were approved by the Commission on Student Learning in November 1997.
Changing from a Super Majority to a Simple Majority
In June 1998, the WASA Board authorized WASA staff to proceed with necessary steps for launching a statewide constitutional amendment campaign to change the super majority requirement for school levies to a simple majority.

Partnerships at the time included

  • Educational Renewal Institute
  • Employee Relations and Negotiations Network (ERNN)
  • LEAD Consortium
  • WASA Initiative to Support for Local Districts Faced with Work Stoppages in partnership with WSSDA and AWSP
  • WASA/AWSP/WSSDA Strike Management
  • SIRS


  1. School Construction Information Project
  2. Team Energy
  3. WASA’s Strategic Planning

Racial and Ethnic Diversity Growing (as reported in the March 1992 Hotline)
According to a report in 1984–85, and reported again in 1992 Hotline, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction, Judith Billings, “less than 15 percent of the student body was non-white; minorities now comprised about 18 percent; and by 1994–95, they will increase to nearly 20 percent of the student population.”

The Challenge of Systems Change by Larry Nyland, March 1992
Four elements that represent a new way at looking at the job as school administrators:

  1. Systems Change
    Strategy: Be hard on the system and soft on people.
  2. Collaboration
    Strategy: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Steven Covey
  3. Community involvement
    Strategy: Go early and often to your community.
  4. Continuous Renewal
    Strategy: Ask tough questions—create a need.

Women as Superintendents Grew in This Period
In 1991, Washington, with 40 women in CEO positions, led the nation in percentage of females holding the superintendence.
In the nine year period from 1983–1992, the number of women increased from 157 to 370, a growth of 236 percent. Along with a large total increase in the number of women administrators came a significant increase in each administrative job category, with the largest in the superintendence and assistant superintendent level.
In 1993, females represented 15 percent of all superintendents or head teacher position in Washington.
Janet Barry, Central Kitsap School District Superintendent, was named 1996 National Superintendent of the year.
Janet Barry, Central Kitsap School District Superintendent, was named 1996 National Superintendent of the year.

Superintendent Vacancies

1995 Of the 42 superintendent vacancies filled, three were women, 12 were out-of-state candidates, and three were serving as interim superintendents.
1997 Of the 49 superintendent vacancies filled, seven were women, one was an out-of-state candidate, and four were serving as interim superintendents.


WASA recognized George Pasnick at the 1983 WASA Summer Conference as being a WASA member for 54 years. 

WASA Goals

  1.  Competent, Effective, Ethical and Visionary Leadership
  2.  WASA Organization and Governance
  3.  Student Learning and Educational Reform
  4.  Legislative and Community Support for Public Schools
  5.  WASA Leadership Transition

Conferences, Institutes, and Programs

  1.  Aspiring Leaders Workshop
  2.  WASA Fall Conference
  3.  WASA/WSSDA Legislative Conference
  4.  School Safety Workshop
  5.  WASA Small Schools Conference
  6.  WASA/AWSP Summer Conference
  7.  Superintendents Conference
  8.  New Superintendents Workshop
    This workshop is for new superintendents and superintendents moving to a new district to review job demand priorities, strategies to be engaged, dialogue with colleagues in similar situations to create a job-alike support system.
  9.  WASA/WSSDA School Facilities Conference
  10.  Project Leadership Workshops
  11.  Summer Training Institute for Board and Administrators
  12.  OSPI/WASA Special Education Workshop for Administrators
  13.  Central Office Workshop
  14.  ERNN Conference
  15.  Washington State Leadership Academy began pilot year in August 2008

In 2007, leaders continued to focus on instructional leadership and ample school funding.

WASA Services

  1. WASA Management and Operational Reviews—A Map for Effective and Efficient School Districts
  2.  Strike Management
  3.  Construction Planning
  4.  Financial Planning Services
  5.  WASA EduPortal (new in 2000)
    An internet-based tool featuring a powerful rapid-search process, a database of information critical to administration, and the ability to enter school district documents for efficient management, communication, and retrieval. 
  6.  Collective Bargaining Support
    In Partnership with other organizations, WASA provides support to districts facing challenging bargaining.
  7.  Professional Development Opportunities
  8.  Professional Assistance to meet needs of members, such as:
    Advice and Counsel
    Legal Services
    Ethics Assistance
    Problem Solving
    Conflict Intervention
    Contract Review
    Career Counseling
    Retirement Counseling

WASA Membership Benefits
1.  $250,000 Professional Liability Insurance and up to $2,500 for legal assistance.
2. VEBA Trust Created in 1984 to give school districts in Washington a means of providing supplemental benefits, particularly post-employment (retiree) medical reimbursement plans. In 1997, Washington State passed legislation to permit employees of community and technical colleges to participate in a medical expense plan funded with sick leave cash out at retirement.
3. Access to critical information that includes the WASA website containing member only access to useful resources and includes online registration at www.wasa-oly.org.
4. A legislative team to support public education.

Publications, Booklets, and Resources
1. WASA Best Practices booklet, “Closing the Achievement Gap Through Shared Leadership."
2.  "Closing the Achievement Gap II: Making Sure it Happens"
3. Washington State School Strike Information Manual
4.  Legislative Session Guide
5. Annual Legislative Report
6. This Week in Olympia (TWIO)
7.  Generations of Progress Toolkitdeveloped in fall 2005 to provide district administrators with customizable communication tools to help their local communities understand the impact of the changing world market and how it affects the type and level of education our state’s children need to be successful.
8.  Zap the Gap—A tool created by the Instructional Program Administrators Component group (IPAC) to help educators locate information about specific student populations for educators to understand the impact of cultural factors in order to reflect on the instructional programs offered in their district.
9. WASA’s Evaluation and Supervision for Education Toolkit Published for administrators to align supervision and evaluation processes and practices to education reform. Included in the toolkit:

What is the Toolkit About?
What must I know?
What choices do we make?
What is good performance and how do I recognize it?
How do I make it work?
What help is available?

10. School System Improvement Resource Guide

All of these are still available under our Resource Hub or under out Government Relations tabs on our website. 

This Week in Olympia (TWIO) is a weekly broadcast fax for the latest news and happenings from the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

WASA Legislative Platform
School Funding
Education Reform/Accountability
Independent Audits
Simple Majority
“Successful Students = Long-Term Commitment, Planning, and Funding.”
WASA believed that the 2001 Legislature should:
Send the simple majority for school levies and bonds to the people.
Provide flexibility, reduce cumbersome paperwork, and eliminate unnecessary regulations so that districts can implement their improvement goals.
Provide the assistance, support, resources, and the technology needed to achieve building and district improvement goals.
Support innovative public school options that are inclusive and equitable.
Carry forward the current level of funding for K-12 education and provide:
- Fair and sustained compensation increases, as well as health and retirement benefits for all school employees.
- Funding for programs and facilities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and employees.
- Additional funding so that all students have the opportunity to attain the essential academic learning requirements and to succeed on the Washington Assessments of Student Learning.
"Invest in the Future—Support Our Public Schools"
• Maintain K-12 Funding
• Send the simple majority for school levies and bonds to a vote of the people.
"Invest in the Future—Support our Public Schools"
Send the simple majority constitutional amendment for school levies AND bonds at ALL currently allowed elections for a vote of the people. Let the people decide!
• Maintain the current level of state support for our schools and include the “bump” in I-728 by temporary tax increases, additional “sin” taxes and/or closing tax loopholes.
Provide a sustainable, predictable, and fair state tax structure and finance system for our public schools.
Address the issues relating to state level school employee compensation and establish a fair and equitable salary allocation formula for school administrators.
Continue to support our education reform efforts by making mid-course adjustments that ensure all students have the opportunity and resources to improve their learning.
Enforce our state’s “no strikes” laws.
Remove health benefits as a bargaining item at the local level.
Support pension governance changes that allow state and school employees a direct voice in pension issues.
"Invest in the Future—Support Our Public Schools"
• Send the simple majority constitutional amendment for school levies and bonds at all currently allowed elections to a vote of the people. Let the people decide!
• Return ANY 2003-04 K-12 dollars left on the table to K-12 in the supplement budget.
• Provide a sustainable, predictable, fair, and equitable state tax structure and finance system for our public schools.
• Address the issue of state-level support for an equitable salary allocation formula for school administrators.
• Continue to support our education reform efforts by making mid-course adjustments to ensure that all students can achieve state learning standards and by sustaining the regional infrastructure with increased funds for ESDs.
• Support state funding for alternative public schools and oppose the authorization of charter schools operating independently of elected school boards.
• Reinforce our state’s “no strike” laws.
• Support fair and equitable retirement options and health benefits for school employees.
"Invest in the Future—Support Our Public Schools"
• Focus on amply funding K-12 education. Conduct a comprehensive review of the finance system and establish a sustainable, predictable, and fair state funded system for public schools.
• Address the immediate budget issues of underfunding transportation, special education, the administrator salary allocation formula, education reform, and the ESDs.
• Send the simple majority constitutional amendment for school levies and bonds at all currently allowed elections to a vote of the people. Let the people decide!
• Repeal unfunded mandates.
• Oppose binding arbitration and reinforce our state’s “no strike” laws.
• Support fair and equitable retirement options and health benefits for school employees and retirees.
• Use Governor Gregoire’s comprehensive review of education funding for public schools to establish a finance system that is sustainable, predictable, fair, and fully funded.
• Use the supplemental budget to address the underfunding of transportation, special education, compensation, the administrator salary allocation formula, education reform, and the ESDs.
• Ensure that rules of laws relating to new state standards-based graduation requirements are reasonable and achievable.
• Send the simple majority constitutional amendment for school levies and bonds at all currently allowed elections to a vote of the people. Let the people decide!
• Stop unfunded mandates.
• Support fair and equitable retirement options and health benefits for school employees and retirees.
• A five-year plan must be established that provides K-12 schools with a sustainable, predictable, fairly allocated, and fully funded finance system.
• Major steps must be taken in 2007 to increase funding for transportation, special education, teacher compensation, the administrator and classified salary allocation formulas, student achievement programs, and the ESDs.
• Laws and rules relating to graduation requirements must be reasonable and achievable.
• The simple majority constitutional amendment for school levies at all currently allowed elections (or the primary, the general, and two fixed election dates in the spring) must be sent to a vote of the people. Let the people decide!
• Unfunded and under-funded mandates must be eliminated.
• Fair and equitable retirement and health benefits for school employees and retirees must be established.
"Invest in the Future: Fully Fund Our Public Schools"
• Approve a formula for K-12 schools that is sustainable, predictable, fairly allocated, and fully funded by 2010.
• Continue to increase funding each year for transportation, special education, teacher compensation, the administrator and classified salary allocation formulas, student achievement programs, technology, school safety, and the ESDs while we progress toward the fully funded model.
• Enact legislation relating to graduation requirements that is reasonable and achievable.
• Either fund or eliminate state mandates.
• Provide fair and equitable retirement and health benefits for school employees and retirees.
"Fully Fund our Public Schools"
Support the report and recommendations of the Full Funding Coalition as presented to the Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance on June 10, 2008 and are committed to work collaboratively with the legislature to implement a new system of finance for K-12 schools that is sustainable, predictable, fairly allocated, and fully funded by 2015.
Support the elimination of all mandates that are not necessary to ensure a quality twenty-first century education for students and the full funding of those that are necessary.
• Support legislation that will improve retirement and health benefits for school employees and retirees.
Support sending a constitutional amendment to the people, which will allow school construction bond levies to pass with a simple majority vote.
"Fully Fund Our Public Schools"
The Legislature was asked to establish a system of finance for K-12 schools that is sustainable, predictable, fairly allocated, and fully funded.
The Quality Education Council was asked to establish a systemic and comprehensive plan for implementing and funding basic education.

Key Legislation
• Supported Initiative 728—K-12 2000 for long-term stable funding for K-12 public education for resources, training, programs and services to students and teachers to meet the demands of higher standards.
• Supported 732 Cost of Living to provide a mechanism for school districts to provide annual salary increases for all school employees.
Supported I-732, the permanent COLA for all school employees.
• Supported Simple majority and healthcare benefits. WASA contributed $5,000 to the Simple Majority Coalition.
• Opposed the four percent levy lid increase and housing subsidy.
• Operating Budget 2003-05. Supported preserving funding for K-12 schools and children.
• Education Reform. Supported the reading, math, writing, and science WASLs as the Certificate of Mastery required for high school graduation.
• Charter Schools SB 5012. Rejected SB 5012 that would have authorized experimental charter schools to be operated without oversight of locally elected officials and receive taxpayer dollars that should go to public schools.
• Simple Majority. Supported the simple majority for levies and bonds.
• Opposed Initiative 729-Charter Schools. The initiative would divert state dollars to private entities, which would be exempt from most state and local rules and regulations and operate outside the authority of locally elected school boards.
• Opposed Initiative 747 which would limit annual state and local government property tax increases to no more than 1 percent without a public vote.
• Full funding for basic education.
• Class-size reduction
• Base salary increases for all K-12 staff.
• Full day kindergarten statewide
• WASL graduation requirements
• Passing the simple majority for school levies constitutional amendment.
The Simple Majority bill passed the Legislature due to a team effort by superintendents, the Legislation and Finance Committee, WASA Executives and the “team Leader” Assistant Executive Director Barbara Mertens. The Simple Majority was be brought to voters in November. Education leaders will be critical players in the passage EHJR 4204 (simple majority).
• Increase funding in the basic education formulas.
• Stop the passage of more unfunded mandates.
The WASA Board voted unanimously to oppose Initiative 1033 which “limits the growth of state, county and city revenue.”
• Reduction in Force due to cuts in state and federal funding.
• Plan I Retire/Rehire faces changes in 2010–11.
• McCleary vs. StateJudge John Erlick said, “This court is left with no doubt that under the State’s current financing system, the state is failing in its constitutional duty. State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable … local school districts continue to rely on local levies and other nonstate resources (like federal funds to supplement state funding for a basic education.”
• ESSB 6696—Eligibility requirements for federal ESEA/Race to the Top funds.
• SHB 2776—Implement the crosswalk between the current funding allocation and the prototypical school funding model.
• SHB2893—Levy lid/LEA/levy base bill, giving districts the authority to raise more money.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson and Deputy Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel earned the first unconditional approval of a state accountability plan by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.

In August 2003, WASL Score Release underscored great gains made statewide and highlighted districts and schools that met and exceeded expectations and significant improvement by students who had been tracked since the 4th grade WASL. 

Educational Leadership Team (WASA, AWSP, WSSDA)
SIRS, jointly created by WASA, WSSDA, AWSP, and the ESDs as independent organizations in 1959 to provide reliable, timely information and research for school management and leadership in Washington State. SIRS operates through a management contract with WASA
Washington State Learning First Alliance (WSLFA) with members from AWSP, Washington Association of colleges for Teacher Education, OSPI, WSSDA, WASA, and the Washington Association of Student Councils
K-12 Finance Workgroup
Full Funding Coalition (WASA, WSSDA, WEA, AWSP, and PSE) In 2007 WASA, AWSP, WSSDA, and WEA jointly met with the editorial boards to discuss the need for a new and fully funded school finance plan.to:

Develop a joint proposal on the K-12 financial system to present to the state Basic Education Finance Joint Task Force.
- Broaden the focus of the partnership beyond funding and finance issues.
- Commit to ongoing meetings of the associations’ leadership.
- Provide presentations and awareness materials to work with the Governor, Legislature, and Superintendent of Public Instruction to reinvent funding K-12.

Simple Majority for Schools Coalition (26 organizations)
District Improvement Facilitators (DIFs) In 2005-06, WASA took a lead role in partnership with OSPI to develop and implement a two-year pilot program to provide training to a cadre of district facilitators to assist school district classified as in “improvement” under NCLB. The focus of the program was to assist districts in the process of significantly improving teaching and student learning through a district systems approach
Washington State Leadership Academy The Academy was set in motion by legislation passed in the 2007 session in an effort to enhance the leadership skills of public school administrators. Substitute Senate Bill 5955 set forth a public-private partnership to include representatives of WASA, AWSP, OSPI, Professional Educator Standards Board, higher education, Educational Service Districts, and the Washington Association of School Business Officials. Programs were delivered around engaging school and district administrator teams in transformative leadership through problems of practice
School Information and Research Service (SIRS) Salary Survey SIRS annual Salary Survey has provided the most comprehensive reports available in the state of Washington on administrative and classified salaries over the last two decades
Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) to preserve the McCleary ruling

  School Construction Information Project
  Team Energy
  WASA’s Strategic Planning
  Safe Schools Project
  Ample School Funding Project Giving policymakers, educators, budget analysts and taxpayers a solid foundation of documented facts and figures that will be needed to establish sustainable, equitable, and ample resources for Washington Schools.
  Washington Learns Project

Washington State Superintendent of The Year
2000 Karen Forys, Northshore School District
2001 Dale Kinsley, Bellingham School District
2002 Stephen Rasmussen, Franklin Pierce School District
**Finalist for National Superintendent of the Year
2003 Dr. Rich McCullough, Snoqualmie Valley School District
2004 Carol Whitehead, Everett School District
2005 Art Jarvis, Enumclaw School District
2006 Ben Soria, Yakima School District
2007 Larry Nyland, Marysville School District
**Finalist for National Superintendent of the Year
2008 Linda Byrnes, Arlington School District
2009 Mark Johnson, Nooksack Valley School District
2010 Steve Chestnut, Selah School District

Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Awards
PEMCO established a new annual award to recognize three outstanding Washington State public school administrators with a ten thousand dollar award to be equally divided between the three winners (one each from three categories: small, medium, and large district).
In 2003, Monte Bridges, Superintendent of Puget Sound ESD, was the first recipient of the scholarship.

Past Scholarship Recipients
2003 Monte L. Bridges, PSESD
2004 Peter Finch. West Valley SD, Yakima
2005 Delcine Mesa-Johnson, Wahluke SD
2006 Irene Gonzalez, Spokane SD
2007 Anna-Maria de la Fuente, Seattle SD
2008 Tammy Campbell, Spokane SD
2009 Anne Rene Joseph, OSPI

Seattle Educator, Anna Maria de la Fuente, received the 2007 Dr. Doyle E. Winter Scholarship for Administrative Leadership in Education. The Scholarship is awarded by WASA and Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation (SNW). The award was presented by Trevor Carlson and Steve Chestnut, to Anna Maria’s daughter, Vanny Chham.

WASA/PEMCO 21st Century Educator Scholarships
The annual scholarships were given to three Washington Seniors in furthering their K-12 education careers. Awards were $1,000 for four years granted from three applicant pools: Eastern Washington, Western Washington, and Minorities.

You can view all the award recipients here. 
Golden Gavel Award Recipients

2001 (2) Lisa Macfarlane, I-728 Campaign, & Barbara Mertens, WASA Assistant Executive Director 
2002 Senator Sid Snyder 
2003 Washington State PTA
2004 Partnership for Learning 
2005 (2) Rep. Hans Dunshee and the State Board of Education 
2006 Governor Christine Gregoire 
2007 Senator Tracey Eide and Representative Shay Schual-Berke 
2008 Dr. Larry Nyland 
2009 Rep. Dave Quall 2010 Foster Pepper PLLC, Attorney Thomas Ahearne 
2010 Chimacum School District Administration, Mike Blair, Stephanie McCleary, and Art Clark
Service to WASA Recipients
2001 Saxton, Bradley, Inc. 
2002 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 
2003 Washington School Research Center (Jeff Fouts) 
2004 Representative Don Cox 
2005 Dennis Ray, WSU
2006 Association of Educational Service Districts 
2007 PEMCO Insurance 
2008 Representative Bill Fromhold 
2009 The League of Women Voters
2010 Dale Kinsley
WASA Leadership Award
2001 Molly Ringo 
2002 Terry Lindquist 
2003 Mary Alice Heuschel
2004 Mack Armstrong 
2005 Paul Rosier 
2006 Bette Hyde 
2007 Bill Keim 
2008 Terry Munther, Carol Whitehead, and John Erickson
2009 Steven Chestnut 
2010 Jane Gutting

  • In a typical year, approximately 45 of the 296 school districts will hire a new superintendent. The average turnover each year is 15 percent.
  • The average term of service for superintendents in a district averages six years.
  • Since 1990, the number of female superintendents more than doubled.
  • Approximately 20 percent of the districts were led by women.
Note: Superintendent Vacancies in June 2000 was a record 64.
Source: WASA data

Diamond Partners
School Employees Credit Union/PEMCO Insurance
Banc of America Securities LLC
The Beresford Company
Saxton Bradley Inc.
Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation
D.A. Davidson & Co
UBS Securities LLC

Platinum Partners

Horace Mann
Xerox Corporation
Foster Pepper, PLLC

Gold Partners
Foster Pepper Shefelman LLC
VEBA Service Group LLC
Scientific Learning Corporation
UBS Securities LLC
Silver Partners
Advanced Academics
Heery International
Life Track Services
Microsoft Corporation
Northwest Regional Lab
Red Lion Hotel at the Park
TRANSACT Communications
Walden University
Washington State Lottery


Executive Director Paul Rosier
led WASA in the beginning of these years, from 2007–13. 

WASA Executive Staff
John Dekker | Assistant Executive Director, Administrative Operations
Barbara Mertens | Assistant Executive Director, Government Relations (Retired in 2010)
Dan Steele | Assistant Executive Director, Government Relations 
Mack Armstrong | Assistant Executive Director, Professional Development

Executive Director Dr. William (Bill) Keim

WASA Executive Staff

John Dekker |Assistant Executive Director, Administrative Operations
Andy Wolf | Executive Assistant, Administrative Operations
Mack Armstrong | Assistant Executive Director, Professional Development
Helene Paroff | Assistant Executive Director, Professional Development
Dan Steele | Assistant Executive Director, Government Relations

Executive Director Joel Aune

WASA Executive Staff
Andy Wolf | Assistant Executive Director, Member Support & Administrative Operations
Helene Paroff | Assistant Executive Director, Professional Development & Membership Services
Dan Steele | Assistant Executive Director, Government Relations


  1. Re-professionalize the field of education
  2. Secure ample funding
  3. Enhance leadership development
  4. Promote collaboration


  1. Transform education policy based on the expertise of professional educators and on the research of actual education practice and results
  2. Invest in the paramount duty
  3. Enhance leadership development
  4. Promote collaboration

2012–13 | 2013–14

  1. Champion professional educator expertise
  2. Invest in the paramount duty
  3. Promote leadership development
  4. Promote collaboration


  1. Leadership—Offer growth opportunities for leaders
  2. Trust—Building internal and external relationships
  3. Advocacy—Promoting community and legislative support for education


  1. Leadership—Identify and develop knowledgeable and effective leaders who champion academic success for all children by enhancing purposeful systems that yield powerful instruction and learning
  2. Trust—Develop trust by building year-round, positive stakeholder relationships focused on communication and collaboration
  3. Advocacy—Champion the fundamental role of public education in the preservation of democracy through professional educator expertise.


  1. Leadership—Identify and develop knowledgeable and effective leaders for the success of each child, school, and community
  2. Trust—Develop and sustain trust through positive relationships, effective communications, and collaboration to further the cause of public education
  3. Advocacy—Champion the fundamental role of public education in the preservation of democracy

2017–18 | 2018–19 | 2019–20

  1. Leadership—Cultivate transformative, equity-driven leaders to ensure each student in every school and community is college, career, and life ready
  2. Trust—Develop and sustain trust to further the cause of equity and excellence in public education
  3. Advocacy—Champion the fundamental role of public education in an inclusive democracy

•  Professional Development
•  Liability Insurance and Legal Services
•  Individual Assistance

o  Career Consulting
o  Employment Contract Analysis
o  Retirement Counseling

•  Networking and Leadership Opportunities

o  The New Superintendent Workshop
o  Superintendent Mentor Program

•  Government Relations
•  Access to Critical Information
•  Management Reviews—A map for effective and efficient school districts such as evaluating business practices, staffing patterns, facilities, financial and program management, and teaching and learning programs.
•  Professional Assistance Program

o  District Policies
o  Finance
o  Personnel
o  Governance
o  Board/Superintendent Relations

Contract Services
Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD)
Washington Association of Maintenance and Operations Administrators (WAMOA)
Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO)
Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD)
School Information and Research Services (SIRS) 
Employee Relations and Negotiations Network (ERNN)
Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA)

WASA Management Reviews
WASA Management Reviews provide expert analysis of district management. Focus areas such as personnel/employee relations, risk management, technology, budgeting, etc., the reviews give an in-depth look at operations and successes for participating districts.

The Washington State Edu-Portal and e-Convene
The online tool includes thousands of resources for district leaders to assist in district policy maintenance including searchable collective bargaining agreements. The e-Convene paperless meeting manager service includes support for collaboration, agenda, meeting packet, and minutes generators.

The e-Convene® paperless meeting manager service includes support for collaboration; agenda, meeting packet, and minutes generators, saving time and expense. This product is currently saving districts thousands annually and integrates seamlessly with the district’s website to share meeting and policy documents with the public.

WASA’s new business plan was completed, and new branding icons (symbol, motto, and colors) were implemented, and core principals of “Leadership, Trust, and Advocacy” were adopted. All WASA products were redesigned, and the website was upgraded. 

Annual Conferences/Workshops

  •  WASA/WSASCD/OSPI Fall Conference
  • WASA/WSSDA/WASBO Legislative Conference and Day on the Hill
  • WASA/AWSP Summer Conference
  • WASA Leaders Workshop
  • WASA Small Schools Conference
  • WASA Superintendent Workshop/Conference
  • WASA/OSPI Special Education Workshop
  • WASA New Superintendent Workshop
  • WSLA Statewide Summer Conference

New Professional Development in 201020

  •  WASA Women in Leadership Conference | 2016
  • WASA/WSSDA/AWSP Equity Conference | 2016 | The conference was designed to engage teams of district leaders in addressing barriers and issues of disproportionality within their districts.
  • WASA/OSPI Mentor Academy | 2017 | Created to assist mentors of incoming superintendents to support their mentees more effectively.
  • Inclusionary Practices Project for Students with Disabilities
  • WASA Winter Conference
  • WASA Special Education Directors Academy
  • WASA Superintendent & CFO Conference
  • WASA/OSPI Early Career Superintendent Academy
  • WASA Incoming Superintendent Conference
  • WASA Early Career Superintendent Academy
  • WASA/AESD/AASA Aspiring Superintendents Academy 
  • WASA/AWSP/WSASCD/OSPI Washington Educators’ Conference (WEC) | In 2013, the Fall Conference was transformed into the Washington Educators’ Conference and jointly sponsored by AWSP, WSASCD, and OSPI.
  • WASA/OSPI Student Scheduling for District and Building Teams
  • WASA /WSPA Teacher and Principal Evaluation Program and Human Resources Workshops
  • Brown Bag Lunch Series: Thinking and Leading into the Future

You can view all of our Professional Learning opportunities here

Contract Professional Development
•  District Improvement Facilitator Training (DIF)
•  Employee Relations and Negotiations Network (ERNN) Annual Conference and Regional Workshops
•  Washington State Leadership Academy (WSLA) WSLA is a district-based professional development program administered in partnership with WASA and AWSP and funded by the legislature. WSLA’s mission was/is to develop and support school leaders to create educational systems in which powerful instruction helps all students succeed. In 2012, WSLA was contracted by OSPI to provide training on the AWSP Leadership Framework and Rubrics for the state’s new Principal Evaluation System.
  Washington Improvement and Implementation Network (WIIN) Specialist Program In 2004, WASA and OSPI partnered to provide a training program for facilitators to assist districts in meeting the “improvement” requirements on No Child Left Behind. In 2011-12, the program was redefined to meet the needs of districts with schools in the “bottom 5 percent.” 
  Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD) Annual Conference

Professional Development Collaboration Organizations/Agencies

Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP)
Washington School Personnel Association (WSPA)
Washington State Board of Education (SBE)
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
Professional Educators Standards Board (PESB)
Association of Educational Service Districts (AESDs)
Washington Association of Maintenance and Operations Administrators (WAMOA)
Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO)
Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA) 

Focus on Education
This program was initiated in 2011–12. Districts across the state invited community leaders, city officials, legislators, and parents to district led school visits/classroom learning walks and other activities during November to:

  1. Highlight the great work schools are doing. 
  2. Share their vision of public education.
  3. Build community support.






WASA Legislative Platform
WASA believes that the commitment of resources to the education and welfare of the children of Washington State is an investment in quality of our future. We believe that effective school leaders initiate and manage change resulting in a system of K-12 education in which all students receive a quality education.

•  Fully Fund Our Public Schools

  • Request the legislature to establish a system of finance for k-12 schools that is sustainable, predictable, fairly allocated, and fully funded by 2015.
  • Request the quality education council to establish a systemic and comprehensive plan for implementing and funding basic education

•  All actions taken by the 2011 Washington State Legislature must be evaluated in light of the February 4, 2010, King County Superior Court school funding decision (McCleary v. State)
•  WASA will only support bills and budget items that address the following conclusions declared by Judge John Erlick in that decision:

  • “State funding is not ample, it is not stable, and it is not dependable.
  • ”Paramount means “preeminent, supreme, and more important than all others.
  • “Without funding, reform legislation for basic education may be an empty promise.”

•  Fully fund our schools

•  Invest in the Paramount Duty
•  Embrace Innovative, Flexible, Equitable and Accountable School Options

•  Invest in the Paramount Duty
•  Embrace Appropriate Accountability
•  Modernize Public School Employee Compensation

•  Comply with the Paramount Duty
•  Expand Available State Resources
•  Ensure Competitive Public School Employee Compensation

•  Comply with the Paramount Duty
•  Expand Available State Resources
•  Ensure Competitive Public School Employee Compensation
•  Enhance School Construction Assistance

•  Comply with the Paramount Duty
•  Expand Available State Resources
•  Ensure Competitive Public School Employee Compensation
•  Enhance School Construction Assistance

•  Comply with the Paramount Duty
•  Support School Facilities
•  Expand Available State Resources

•  Improve School Safety and Security
•  Provide Equitable Education Investments

  • Special Education
  • Levies and Local Effort Assistance
  • Salary Allocations and State Schedule
  • Regionalization

•  Support School Facilities
•  Expand Available State Resources

•  Update Staff Allocation Formulas
•  Define Teacher Duties and Expectations
•  Provide Consistent, Equitable, and Ample Education Resources
•  Support School Facilities 

Major Legislative Issues

  • School Consolidation
  • McCleary vs. State of Washington
  • Unfunded mandates.
  • Race to the Top
  • Prototypical K-12 Funding Formula
  • Levies and Levy Equalization
  • K-12 Instructional hours
  • 24-credit diploma
  • Washington’s No Child Left Behind
  • State Funded All-Day Kindergarten
  • Full Funding for K-3 Class Size
  • Funding for Pupil Transportation
  • Funding for Maintenance, Supplies, and Operating Costs (MSOC)
  • Underfunding of Educator compensation
  • Teacher/Principal Evaluation
  • ESSA Consolidated Plan
  • K-12 Basic Education Funding
  • Do No Harm
  • Update and Use the Prototypical School Model
  • Public Records Act and School Siting
  • Advocacy for more equitable education investments in special education, levies, Local Effort Assistance, the school Employees’ Benefits Board (SEBB) insurance program, and regionalization.

Legislative Partnerships

  • The Legislature established a Joint Task Force on Education Funding (HB 2824) to meet deadlines to fully implement and fully fund the new education finance system enacted by HB2261 and HB 2276.
  • Stable Funding Committee was established by the WASA Board to provide direction on WASA’s advocacy for new and more stable funding for education.
  • Special Session to Address Levy Equalization The Governor called a special session on November 28, 2011, to deal with the non-basic education funding target—Local Education Assistance (LEA) or commonly called levy equalization--in the state budget. At this time, 220 districts received LEA, and any reduction in LEA would be unfair and create further inequity in Washington State.
  • Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) Districts were asked to join NEWS to show support for fully funding public education and to defend the McCleary decision in the State’s appeal to the Supreme Court. In 2012, the WASA Board authorized financial support for the Network to help ensure that the McCleary ruling was enforced.
  • Paramount Duty Coalition formerly the Full Funding Coalition The Coalition is an alliance between AWSP, PSE, WASA, WEA, and WSSDA. The organizations are dedicated to advancing education excellence for all children, while ensuring that Washington State lives up to its constitutional “paramount duty” to amply fund K-12 schools.
  • ESSA Consolidated Team Plan with OSPI
  • The Local Funding Workgroup established in 2014 by WASA and WASBO, expanded to include WSSDA, WSPA, AWSP and AEA, to make recommendations to the Legislature to solve McCleary.
  • School Funding Coalition (WASA, WASBO, AWSP, WSSDA, WSPA, AESD, and AEA) established to provide one voice for education funding.

Teacher Principal Evaluation Process (TPEP) law officially went into effect in 201314. The law was based on two concepts: individual growth and individual accountability. Each district superintendent and leadership team were to determine the vision of TPEP implementation and the outcome for their people.

Joint Task Force on Education Funding (HB 2824) The legislature established a Joint Task Force on Education Funding to make recommendations on how the legislature could meet the requirements of the basic education finance reform adopted in ESHB 2261 (2009) and SHB 2776 (2010).

Education Reform Initiatives
•  Common Core State Standards In 2011, Washington became the 44th state, in addition to one territory and the District of Columbia, to adopt the common core state standards in English language arts and mathematics. Washington officially began the process to introduce the standards into state classrooms in the 2013-14 school year.
  Smarter Balanced Assessments
  Next Generation Science
  TPEP Implementation
  Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

WASA Legislative Consultants
John Kvamme | Retirement and Health Benefits for WASA and AWSP, with Fred Yancey and Michael Moran (The Nexus Group) after John Kvamme retired.
Mitch Denning | Alliance for Education Associations (AEA)
Jim Shoemake and Marcia Fromhold | Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD)
In 201718, Melissa Gombosky represented the Association of Educational Service District (AESD).

WASA Committees
WASA Stable Funding Committee was established to review an education funding plan proposed by Rep. Ross Hunter and offer a levy equalization component for his consideration. The WASA Stable Funding Committee’s role expanded to review the work of the Joint Task Force created by HB 2824 to develop a plan for full funding of K-12.


Washington’s AASA Representatives
Executive Committee Members
 201015  Molly Ringo, Everett SD
 201516  Garn Christensen, Eastmont SD
 201620  Michelle Price, Moses Lake SD

AASA Governing Board
Washington has three representatives on the AASA Governing Board, an eastside, westside, and statewide representative. Representatives are elected for a term of three years. 
Westside Rep: David Burgess, Lake Stevens, SD
Eastside Rep: Garn Christensen, Eastmont SD

Westside Rep: Rick Gantman, Mount Baker SD
Eastside Rep: Garn Christensen, Eastmont SD

Westside Rep: Molly Ringo, Everett SD
Eastside Rep: Garn Christensen, Eastmont SD
Westside Rep: Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce SD
Eastside Rep: Michelle Price, Moses Lake SD

Westside Rep: Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce SD
Eastside Rep: Michelle Price, Moses Lake SD

Westside Rep: Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce SD
Eastside Rep: Michelle Price, Moses Lake SD
Westside Rep: Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce SD
Eastside Rep: Rob Manahan, Lake Chelan SD
Westside Rep: Frank Hewins, Franklin Pierce SD
Eastside Rep: Randy Russell, Freeman SD

AASA Distinguished Service Award
The AASA Distinguished Service Award is presented at the AASA National Conference on Education for exhibiting exemplary leadership and enhancing the profession of school administration.
  2011  Howard Coble 
  2012  Brian Talbott 
  2013  Dr. Herbert M. Berg
  2014  Dr. Dennis Ray
  2015  Dr. Stephen Rasmussen

2012 Richard D. Miller Award (AASA Educational Administrative Scholarship Award)
Jennifer Ruth Kubista | Director of Student Life, Tacoma Public Schools

Annual Northwest Reception
Each year at the AASA National Conference on Education, the superintendent associations in the five northwest states of Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon cosponsor the Northwest Reception. During the reception, the states’ Superintendents of the Year are introduced. 

WASA Board of Directors Handbook
Central Office Evaluation Framework identifies the primary responsibilities of central office staff
Resources for New Superintendents and a mentor relationship with a colleague in their region.
Leadership Framework and User’s Guide
SIRS Leadership Information (LI) is a research and information journal sent to member districts relating directly to the need.
SIRS Salary Survey Report is compiled and published annually providing a timely salary and benefits report of Washington’s school employees, in three parts: administrators, classified personnel, and teachers. 


Barbara Mertens Legacy Award
The Barbara Mertens Legacy Award was established in honor of Barbara Mertens, former assistant executive director of Government Relations at WASA who retired in 2010. It is presented to “an individual or group who has had a significant impact on public education in Washington—a legacy that has lasting influence. The award comes from a $1,000 gift from D.A. Davidson & Co.

  2011  John Fotheringham | Consultant, Northwest Leadership Associates, and Former Executive Director, WASA
  2012   Dennis Ray | founder of the first Washington State University “Leaders for Tomorrow’s Schools” cohort for the Superintendent Certification started in 1996
  2013   Gene Sharratt | Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education at Washington State University
  2014   David Alfred | Executive Director, ERNN
  2015  Betty Hyde | Director, Department of Early Learning
  2016  Alan Burke | Executive Director, WSSDA
  2017  Gay Selby | Retired, WSU
  2018  Bill Keim | Executive Director, WASA
  2019  Amy Bragdon | Hagan Foundation
  2020  Due to the COVID-19 turmoil, the 201920 awards process was delayed until the fall.

Regional Awards
Region awards are selected by members of each WASA Region regionally and are presented at region awards ceremonies.

  • Award of Merit
  • Student Achievement Leadership Award
  • Twenty-Year Award
  • WASA Retiree Award
  • Community Leadership Award

You can view, and maybe even submit to, additional awards here

Cost containment for professional development expenses is critical for WASA members’ ability to participate. WASA is supported by corporate and event sponsors that help keep that cost containment by paying for speakers, meals, awards, etc. These companies include:

Diamond-Level Partners
Beresford Company
BLRB Architects
Clear Risk Solutions
D.A. Davidson & Co
Forecast5 Analytics(now Frontline Education)
Gesa Credit Union
Hill International 
Inspirus Credit Union
PEMCO Insurance
Right At School
Piper Jaffray & Co, Seattle-Northwest Division
School Employees Credit Union of Washington
Seattle-Northwest Securities
VEBA Trust/Gallagher (now known as Gallagher)
Washington Schools Risk Management Pool

Platinum-Level Partners
The American Academy
BLRB Architects
Cenergistic, Inc.
Compass Learning
Forecast5 Analytics (now Frontline Education)
Foster Pepper PLLC
Foster Garvey
Horace Mann
Hill Internationa;
Inspirus Credit Union
Public Financial Management
Renaissance Learning, Inc.
School Employees Credit Union
Shelgren Financial Services
Sodexo Education

Gold-Level Partners
American Fidelity
American Reading
ATS Automation
Better Lesson
Cenergistic Inc.
Chartwell’s School Dining Services
Discovery Education
DLR Group
Foster Pepper PLLC
Horace Mann
Kutak Rock LLP
OAC Services
Public Financial Management
ReThink Ed
Renaissance Learning
Rural Education Center
Seattle Pacific University
SMART Technology
Schneider Electric
Shelgren Financial Services
Sodexo Education Services
Stevens Clay
The Flippen Group
VEBA Service Group, LLC

Silver-Level Partners
Achieve 3000
Advanced Academics
American Fidelit
ATS Automation
Blackboard Connect
BLRB Architects
Chartwells School Dining Services
De La Rosa & Co.
Discovery Education 
DLR Grou
Education Northwest
eLuma Online Therapy
Forecast Analytics, Inc
Goal Book 
Grand Canyon University
Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program
Imagine Learning
K-12 Insight
Koegen Edwards LLC
Kutak Rock LLP
Lexia Learning
Life Track Services
Milton L. Snyder, Ph.D.
Morgan Stanley
NTN National Training Network
NTN Algebraic Thinking
Renaissance Learning, Inc.
ReThink Ed
Seattle Pacific University
Schneider Electric
Shelgren Financial
SMART Technologies
The College Board
TransACT Communications Inc.
Walden University

Additional Event Sponsors 
Agile Mind
Alaska Council of School Administrator
Alden Associates
Audio Enhancement
Aunties Bookstore
American Fidelity
Blackboard Inc.
Central Washington University
City University
Confederation of Oregon School Administrators
DLR Group
Eastern Washington University
Education Northwest
EMS Sub Desk, an ESS Company
Forecast5 Analytics, Inc.
Heritage University
Illuminate Education
Infinite Visio
Kutak Rock LLP
McGraw-Hill Education
NTN Math 
OAC Services
Propel Insurance
Renaissance Learning, Inc.
Right at School
Sanford Harmony
Saxton-Bradley, Inc.
Scholastic Education
School Administrators of Montana
School Insurance Associates
Scientific Learning
Seattle University
Seattle Pacific University
Toledo Telephone Company, Inc
United Schools Insurance Program
University of Washington
University of Washington Leadership for Learning Program
Walden University
Washington State Employees Credit Union
Washington State University
Washington’s 529 College Savings Plan, The GET Program and DreamAhead College Investment Plan
Washington State Alliance of YMCAs
Western Washington University

View our current list of sponsors on our site.

Our Leadership Through the Decades

1953–54 Elmo Steinke 

1954–55 Morton Johnson

1955–56 Harold Griffith

1956–57 Gordon Carter

1957–58 Scott Milligan
1958–59 Paul Furgeson 

1959–60 Rolland Upton 

1960–61 Gilbert Mills 

1961–62 Myron Colburn 

1962–63 Phil Syrdahl

1963–64 Myron Ernst 

1964–65 Carl Jensen 

1965–66 Robert Smith 

1966–67 Harold Silvernail

1967–68 Max Snyder

1968–69 Robert Bates

1969–70 Walter Hitchcock

1970–71 Robert Woodroof

1971–72 Marvin Schroeder

1972–73 Charles R. (Bob) Marshall

1973–74 Donald Gibbs

1974–75 William Stevenson

1975–76 Jack Hill

1976–77 Robert Sealey

1977–78 Charles McNurlin

1978–79 George Daniel

1979–80 Donald Anderson

1980–81 Stanford Hosman

1981–82 Richard Johnson

1982–83 Curtis Horne

1983–84 Ray Smith

1984–85 John Gott

1985–86 Dennis Ray

1986–87 Milton Snyder

1987–88 Maryann Johnson

1988–89 Kent Matheson

1989–90 Larry Nyland

1990–91 Richard Harris

1991–92 Michael Bernazzani

1992–93 Norman Wisner

1993–94 James Menzies

1994–95 Herbert Berg

1995–96 Peter Ansingh

1996–97 H. Jerome Hansen

1997–98 Harry Amend

1998–99 James Shoemake

1999–00 Gary Livingston 

2000–01 Stephen Rasmussen

2001–02 Gretta Merwin

2002–03 Mack Armstrong

2003–04 Richard McCullough

2004–05 Paul Rosier

2005–06 Carol Whitehead

2006–07 Steve Chestnut

2007–08 John Erickson

2008–09 Rich McBride

2009–10 Monte Bridges

2010–11 Saundra Hill

2011–12 Joel Aune

2012–13 Paul Sturm

2013–14 Mike Nelson

2014–15 Michelle Price

2015–16 Frank Hewins

2016–17 Lois Davies

2017–18 Steve Webb

2018–19 Randy Russell

2019–20 Krestin Bahr

2020–21 Brian Talbott

2021–22 Aaron Leavell

2022–23 Michelle Whitney

A person smiling for the cameraDescription automatically generated with low confidence  
Doyle E. Winter      
1977–80 (and again in 1997)

Howard Coble 

 John J. Fotheringham

Doyle E. Winter

Jill Jacoby

Paul Rosier

Bill Keim

Joel Aune

WASA Membership Through the Decades
 1980–81 995
 1981–82 961
 1982–83 1,040
 1983–84 1,147
 1984–85 1,233
 1985–86 1,091
 1986–87 1,219
 1987–88 1,337
 1988–89 1,176
 1989–90 1,238
 1990–91 1,418
 1991–92 1,452 
 1992–93 1,481 
 1998–99 1,091*
 1999–2000    1,582 
 2001–02 1,582
 2005–06 1,599
 2006–07 1,620
 2010–11 1,490
 2011–12 1,480 
 2012–13 1,495 
 2013–14 1,543 
 2014–15 1,584
 2015–16 1,695 
 2016–17 1,778 
 2017–18 1,843 
 2018–19 1,813 
 2019–20 1.894

*WASA’s active membership totaled 1,091, the highest since the 1991–92 school year. This was a net increase of 10% and reflects a new high of 417 female members.    
 1980–81   $350,000
 1982–83 $480,000
 1983–84 $480,000
 1985–86 $735,000
 1987–88 $1,000,000
 1988–89 $1,060,124
 1989–99 $1,301,332
 1990–91 $1,606,239
 1991–92   $1,544.198
 1992–93 $1,709,340
 1997–98  $1,904,088 (Preliminary)
 2001–02  $2,410,290
 2002–03  $2,470,231
 2003–04  $2,425,943
 2004–05  $2,547,622
 2005–06  $2,690,492
 2006–07  $2,877,653
 2007–08  $2,914,861
 2008–09  $3,313,991
 2009–10  $3,157,130
 2009–10   $3,157,130
 2010–11   $3,432,495
 2011–12   $3,218,995
 2012–13   $3,320,421
 2013–14   $3,158,160
 2014–15   $3,483,778
 2015–16   $2,051,416
 2016–17  $2,498,911
 2017–18  $2,366,422
 2018–19  $2,937,252
 2019–20  $2,705,018


Upcoming Conferences

Interested in attending an upcoming conference? Check out the WASA Conference Calendar.

View Upcoming Conferences