Enumclaw superintendent honored as state's best
April 30, 2009 · Updated 2:30 PM
Art Jarvis, head of the Enumclaw School District, has been named by his peers as Washington state school superintendent of the year.
The announcement was made Friday in Spokane, as part of the annual meeting of school superintendents. The award is bestowed by the Washington Association of School Administrators.
"It's a tremendous honor," Jarvis said. "One of those moments you treasure forever.
"Those who know me are fully aware that I see the role of a superintendent as a crusader for public education and for children," he added.
"To have spent 40 years in that cause is an extraordinary privilege in itself. I am very proud to say I am a superintendent. To further receive this recognition, and represent hundreds of superintendents who fight that good fight every day, causes me to feel truly blessed."
As Washington's nominee, Jarvis will now represent this state in the National Superintendent of the Year Award Program, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators and ServiceMaster. In February, the 2005 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced and recognized along with the four state finalists at the AASA National Conference on Education in San Antonio, Texas.
Nancy Merrill, president of the Enumclaw School Board, said local school directors have "always believed Dr. Jarvis is one of the best superintendent leaders in the state."
She said the honor "speaks to his hard work over a 40 year career." Beyond that, she added, the award puts the entire school district in the spotlight. "It also speaks to the hard work each employee brings to their jobs serving children in our district every day," Merrill said. "They truly own a piece of this honor which reflects so positively on the entire Enumclaw School District."
Jarvis is currently in his ninth year as superintendent in Enumclaw. During his tenure, the district was awarded a grant in excess of $2 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve teaching and learning. Jarvis also has championed a transition to a full-day kindergarten plan, which is showing strong statistics to support the efforts. The kindergarten spring assessment demonstrated significantly higher scores than in previous years, representing as much as a 20 percent improvement in several Enumclaw schools.
Prior to taking over in Enumclaw, Jarvis was superintendent for 11 years in the South Whidbey School District.
Jarvis' post-secondary education, including his doctorate and superintendent's certification, was received at the University of Washington. A frequent conference presenter, Jarvis is actively involved with the Washington Association of School Administrators and has participated in a wide variety of working committees and in regional leadership roles for several years. He also is a former president of the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and a member of the Northwest Regional Data Center Executive Committee.
As a community leader, Jarvis is the congregation president for Trinity Lutheran Church, a representative on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association's district board, a local coordinator for the United Way, a Rotarian (former president) and an emergency chairperson for the American Red Cross.