Pasco schools superintendent wins top state honor

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldNovember 16, 2012 

Pasco School Superintendent Saundra Hill was named by her peers as 2013 Superintendent of the Year for the state, with other school administrators noting her dedication to education and community.

Thursday's announcement came during a conference for the Washington Association of School Administrators, or WASA, in Spokane, which provides the award. Hill now is a finalist for the national superintendent award, to be announced in February.

Hill, who is attending the conference in Spokane, could not be reached Thursday afternoon. She said in comments distributed by WASA she was honored by the award and that it is recognition of the hard work of everyone who works with her, from teachers and school bus drivers to school board members and parents.

"This award belongs to the entire Pasco community," she said in a release.

Hill has spent the bulk of her education career in Pasco, working for the district from 1982 to 1996 as a teacher and then an an administrator. She left for several years to earn a law degree from the University of Washington and returned in 2002 to serve as the district's superintendent.

WASA cites increases in reading, math and writing test scores during Hill's tenure, as well as her emphasis on English-language learning and the bilingual program and developing strategies to measure student achievement and provide teachers with feedback.

"Noted for her advocacy and ability to implement effective, educational approaches, Hill has helped her district realize innovative solutions specific to student growth," said the release.

School administrators from the Mid-Columbia praised Hill's dedication to Pasco students and in getting the rest of the Pasco community involved in education.

Kennewick School District Superintendent Dave Bond called Hill a true leader.

"I have so appreciated all the advice and assistance I have received over the years from Saundra. She served as my mentor during my first year of being a superintendent, and I relied on her numerous times for her experience, wisdom, and guidance. She has worked tirelessly over the years to provide the opportunity for each and every student in Pasco to receive an outstanding education. She is most deserving of this recognition," he said in an email to the Herald.

-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com

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