Renton school chief, Mary Alice Heuschel, named 2011 state Superintendent of the Year

Renton Schools Supt. Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel - Renton School District
Renton Schools Supt. Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel
— image credit: Renton School District

Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel, superintendent of the Renton School District, was named Friday as Washington's 2011 Superintendent of the Year.

The announcement was made in Spokane at the Washington Association of School Administrators annual meeting.

Heuschel was selected for the honor by the association's 1,600-members because of her commitment to education for all students, her steadfast passion for children and her organizational and inspirational leadership in the district and among leaders throughout Washington.

"I am immensely grateful and humbled that my colleagues would honor me with such a wonderful award," Heuschel said. "But, I know that being named Superintendent of the Year is less about me and more a direct reflection of the hard work by the teachers and support staff, and the commitment of parents and students in the Renton School District."

Heuschel has been superintendent in Renton since 2006 and under her leadership, high school graduation rates have increased to 93 percent and her focus on closing the ethnicity achievement gap is realizing incredible results, a district press release stated.

"What a wonderful honor for Superintendent Heuschel and all of the Renton School District," said school board President Lynn Desmarais. "We are very proud of Mary Alice and what we're accomplishing under her leadership. This is a fantastic recognition of the work being accomplished by our staff, students, parents and community."

Heuschel received her doctorate and superintendent certification from Seattle Pacific University in 2004. Heuschel has been an administrator since 1993, when she became a principal in the Yelm School District. In 1999 she became an assistant superintendent for the state's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and went on to become a deputy superintendent from 2000 to 2006 when she left to begin her tenure in Renton.

Heuschel will represent Washington in the National Superintendent of the Year Program in February, at the organization's national conference in Denver.

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