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Superintendent, Whitworth Alumnus Receives Administrator Award

The Washington Association of School Administrators and the PEMCO Foundation recently recognized Whitworth alumnus and La Conner School District Superintendent Tim Bruce as a recipient of the Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award for 2004.

Bruce, who was honored in the mid-sized-districts category, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education at Whitworth in 1980 and 1985, respectively.

"To receive this award is not only an honor for me, but acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the entire La Conner staff," Bruce says. "I am proud to work with a group of educators that have embraced the school-improvement process and come to work each day prepared to help our students meet local, state and federal goals."

Three awards are presented each year, based on district-size categories. A peer committee selects the winners from nominations that detail how each nominee is taking part in meeting the nine characteristics of highly performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The $10,000 award is equally divided among the winners. Approximately one-third of Washington's school districts are represented in each category. The award can be used for personal or professional growth and/or to support and disseminate information about a successful school or district program.

The La Conner School District will use the monetary award to help fund the Skagit River Poetry Project and extended learning opportunities, Bruce says.

During his 10-plus years with the La Conner School District, the connections Bruce has fostered between the central office, staff and the community have been pivotal to student success. Increased shared leadership and team approaches involving teachers, board members and community members have created more positive involvement. Building improvements and stronger connections fostered between students and staff by "blurring the borders" between grades, buildings and the school/community have created a sense of pride for everyone.

In its third year, the Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Awards recognize outstanding public school administrators in Washington state. Robert J. Handy, the awards' namesake, founded the PEMCO Life Insurance Company. Handy was a Seattle schoolteacher during the Great Depression whose vision of providing low-cost loans to schoolteachers grew into what is now the School Employees Credit Union of Washington.

The Washington Association of School Administrators is a statewide professional association representing 1,100 members including superintendents, central office administrators and building principals. The PEMCO Foundation is an alliance of companies inclusive of PEMCO Insurance Company, the School Employees Credit Union of Washington and Evergreen Bank.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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