Who We Are

WASA's membership includes more than 1,900 members and is open to all educational administrators in central office, building management, and educational agency positions.

Mission Statement

The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) is an organization for professional administrators that is committed to leadership:

  • Leadership in providing equity and excellence in student learning, and
  • Leadership in developing competent, ethical and visionary leaders by:
    • Providing member services,
    • Offering growth opportunities for leaders, and
    • Promoting community and legislative support for education.
WASA’s beliefs are anchored in leadership, trust, and advocacy. WASA is first and foremost, about leadership for equity and excellence for all students. WASA members exemplify trust through competence, integrity, and vision. WASA’s advocacy efforts focus on building widespread support and a singular voice to secure the resources and policy necessary to advance public education in the state of Washington. 

WASA Memory Book

2021–22 was WASA’s 50th Anniversary Year. WASA staff created a physical collection of 50 years of WASA memories, including a timeline of our Association’s history, event images, and images of the Presidents and Executive Directors who have led us for over half a century.

The digital copy of this book is available here.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy WASA 50th Anniversary Memory Book, you can do so here.

WASA 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. At approximately the same time, fledgling associations of principals and superintendents were organized with leadership from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. 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, the Association was managed by the 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. 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. During that period of time, programs and services were gradually expanded to include fall and summer conferences, with program components for non-superintendents.

Membership in 1975 numbered 404, with an annual budget of $100,000. The WASA staff, consisting of a half-time Executive Secretary and a half-time secretary, was housed in the office of the Washington State School Directors’ Association in Olympia

1977 was a benchmark year for WASA. The budget totaled $188,492, with a membership of 658. This was also the year Doyle Winter was selected as the first full-time executive director and WASA moved into a small 600 square foot rented office of its own. That fall, Jan Hoffer, became the first full-time support staff member.

During the next three years, a number of significant changes occurred. WASA was organized into job-alike groups with support for the eleven growing regional organizations. Conferences were held for special education, superintendents, negotiators, personnel, and on legal matters. Legislative influence was expanded and a second professional staff member was added along with two additional support staff. The 1979–80 year marked the planning phase of what was to become the very popular Project Leadership.

In 1979, the WASA Board of Directors, in conjunction with SIRS, purchased a 3,000 square foot remodeled house as an office for WASA and SIRS staff. The budget for 1979–80 was approximately $325,000, supported by an active membership of 803. In the spring of 1980, the Board employed Howard Coble as its second full-time executive director.

The decade of the 1980s continued the growth and expansion of WASA that began in the latter part of the 1970s. The following examples will help to illustrate the diversification and growth of WASA programs, services, and activities:

Project Leadership held its first training conference in 1981 with almost 100 in attendance. This flagship professional development program became a national model for training programs.

The Negotiators Conference was expanded, a major legislative reception was included and the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) was invited to be a co-sponsor.

In 1981, the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) was invited to join WASA for the first annual Joint Summer Conference.·  
In 1984, WASA expanded its governmental relations efforts with the employment of a part-time person to head that department.
By 1985, active membership had increased to 940 and the annual budget reached $735,000.
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.
Conferences designed for small schools, aspiring administrators, and special interest seminars were added to meet changing needs of members·
Active membership in 1987 totaled 1,004, supported by a budget of $1,000,000.
WASA, in cooperation with AWSP, was successful in a grant proposal to obtain the federally funded Leadership in Educational Administrator Development (LEAD) program. This program began in 1987 and developed excellent professional growth opportunities for aspiring administrators.

In 1988, the WASA Board of Directors accepted a recommendation from a special housing task force and purchased a new 6,000 square foot office building. The WASA home was a modern facility which should serve members for many years, and with a value of $475,000 represents an excellent investment.

Also in 1988, WASA was successful in negotiating a grant from the Washington State Energy Office. This innovative program, TEAM Energy, provided energy awareness and other cost-effective training for school districts.

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

1989–90 set an all-time high of 1,128 active members and an operating budget of $1,300,000. The membership record 2017 tied the previous record sent in 1989-90, with an operating budget of $2,500,000.

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