Sunnyside Superintendent Selected for Prestigious Award

<p>Dr. Richard Cole</p>

Dr. Richard Cole

The Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), PEMCO Insurance, and School Employees Credit Union of Washington (SECU) have selected Sunnyside School District Superintendent Dr. Richard D. Cole as a recipient of the 2013 Robert J. Handy Effective Administrator Award. He received the award at the WASA Superintendent Workshop in Chelan on Monday.
In 2007 Superintendent Dr. Richard D. Cole led the Sunnyside School District Board and staff in the development of a clear, focused, and shared vision for every student in the district. Even with the high-poverty community and the many external challenges facing the district's youth, Dr. Cole's strong belief that all children are capable of academic success helped shape that vision. In 2007, the graduation rate was 41 percent and in 2012 increased to 79.5 percent. With Dr. Cole's leadership, the district is closer to their vision of success for every student.

A peer committee selects the winners from nominations that describe how each nominee is taking part in realizing the nine characteristics of high-performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Three school administrators are selected for the award each year in categories of: less than 500 students, 501-2,000 students, and 2,000+ students. Dr. Cole was the recipient for school districts with more than 2,000 students.

The Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Awards seek to recognize outstanding public school administrators in Washington State. Robert J. Handy, the awards' namesake, founded the PEMCO Life Insurance Company.

The Washington Association of School Administrators is a statewide professional association representing nearly 1,100 members including superintendents, central office administrators, and building principals.