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Bend leader Wilkinson named Oregon Superintendent of Year Print E-mail

ron-wilkinson.jpg PORTLAND – The Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE), which represents all of Oregon’s school superintendents, and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) announced today that Bend-La Pine School Superintendent Ron Wilkinson has been selected as the 2012 Oregon Superintendent of the Year.

The announcement was made at the annual convention of the Oregon School Boards Association in Portland.

Wilkinson, who has been superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools since 2008, was nominated by fellow district administrators and will be the Oregon nominee for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National 2012 Superintendent of the Year award. 

Wilkinson will also be honored at the OASE/OACOA Winter Conference in February, at the AASA National Conference on Education in February, and at the annual COSA Conference in June.

"As president of OASE, Ron has provided strong and tireless leadership that has contributed to significant and positive changes for Oregon schools and tremendous advances for our organization,” COSA Executive Director Craig Hawkins said.  “Ron’s contributions to Bend-La Pine, Oregon schools, OASE and COSA cannot be overstated.  He is a truly deserving Superintendent of the Year.”

Wilkinson holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in education from Oregon State University.  He has served as a school administrator in Oregon and Washington since 1977, including stints as an administrator in Walla Walla, Crook County, Willamina, Woodburn, and Dayton, as well as Bend-La Pine. He is currently the president of OASE and leads the group’s Education Vision & Policy task force. He is also a member of the education honorary Phi Delta Kappa.

The application for the award submitted by Wilkinson’s colleagues cites his strong leadership on student and organizational learning, which has resulted in continuing growth of Bend-La Pine’s student achievement over the past four years, despite significant budget cuts.

He has led Bend-La Pine Schools to create Professional Learning Communities, which rely heavily on use of a steady flow of student achievement data to guide school priorities. Data collection provides teachers with meaningful information for classroom and individual educational decisions.

Wilkinson has worked closely with his school board to set a vision of high expectations and has worked hard to align all systems to support teachers, administrators, and students with the work.  An important part of that effort has been professional development programs aimed at improving curriculum and teacher performance and practice. These efforts have focused on mathematics and literacy programs. The programs extend to administrators and non-certified teachers aides. Bend-La Pine administrators take part in annual book studies, summer leadership academies and monthly meetings that focus on student learning opportunities.

Wilkinson serves on the statewide Chalkboard Project’s advisory board and has led Bend-La Pine’s involvement in the organization’s sponsored CLASS Project, an innovative approach to instructional improvement through increasing teacher effectiveness.  CLASS encourages a local collaborative process focused on rigorous performance evaluations, relevant professional development, expanded roles for teacher leaders, and exploration of new compensation models. He is working with his local teachers’ union to create a new compensation system that would change the way teachers advance and receive increased compensation during their careers.

Wilkinson has also forged a collaborative relationship with local teacher and classified employee unions that has led to success in labor negotiations. He worked closely with those groups to reach contracts that resulted in salary and benefit reductions in order to preserve educational programs in the face of large state cuts in funding of education. In addition, he has worked closely with his local business community and participates actively in professional activities with them.

Wilkinson is a former student body president at Oregon State University. He has worked successfully with OASE and COSA in state and local efforts to improve educational opportunities for students throughout Oregon. He has been instrumental in efforts to create the Oregon Education Investment Board and is involved in work aimed at seeking a waiver to the federal No Child Left Behind Law.

About the AASA National Superintendent of the Year Program

Now in its 25th year, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year Program pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation's public schools. Selection criteria include leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement. The program is sponsored by ARAMARK Education, ING and AASA. Any superintendent, chancellor or top leader of a United States, Canadian, or international school system who plans to continue in the profession may be nominated. Anyone may nominate a superintendent for this program. Most often, candidates are nominated by school board presidents, parents, community leaders or other superintendents. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

This page was last updated on Friday, December 16, 2011 .