WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith has received the Student Achievement Leadership award for the Southeast region by the Washington Association of School Administrators.
Smith was honored Wednesday during the association’s annual meeting in Richland.
When he arrived from the Hermiston School District in 2016, Smith spearheaded the development of an inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning process. Built on a foundation of stakeholder voice and equity, the plan incorporated a “We All Belong Here” vision that prioritized quality instruction, aligned systems, student supports and community partnerships. Under his leadership, graduation rates have risen to all-time highs, from 80.4 percent to 91.7 percent. Additionally, the district has virtually eliminated the graduation gap between student populations. With an unwavering commitment toward equity and access, the Hispanic/Latino graduation rate has increased nearly 20 percent under Smith’s leadership to 88 percent, 10 percent above the state average.
“We are focused on engaging our students and bringing their voice to the table,” Smith said. “We have developed a Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council this school year and it has really changed the way we make decisions. It allows for students to make choices for students.”
Smith said the award is a reflection of the success of the entire school district and thanked staff, students, parents and district leaders for making it possible.