Hermiston deputy superintendent named leadership award winner

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Wade Smith, deputy superintendent of the Hermiston School District, was honored as the 2014 Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award winner at the InterMountain Education Service District’s 15th annual Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards on Wednesday evening (May 21) at the Pendleton Red Lion Hotel.

The Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award is named for the late Doug Flatt, who was the chief executive officer of Mid Columbia Bus Company. Flatt lost his life in a tragic plane crash while on business. In guiding the growth and operation of Midco, Flatt exemplified the finest qualities of leadership, attention to detail, service to his community, interpersonal relationships, and customer service. The purpose of this award is to recognize a school administrator from a Mid Columbia Bus Company school district who exemplifies the same qualities for which Flatt was legendary. The award is sponsored by the IMESD and Mid Columbia Bus Company.

While numerous classified and licensed employees from each Umatilla and Morrow county school district receive Crystal Apple Awards – a total of 34 for 2014 – only one administrator in all of Umatilla, Morrow and Union counties can receive the Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award.

Smith, who did not know he was receiving the award on Wednesday until his name was announced, was surprised and humbled by the honor. He was also pleasantly surprised to see his family come out from hiding in the back of the room to show their support. Smith, who also celebrated his birthday Wednesday (the crowd sang him “Happy Birthday”), told the crowd of more than 300 people that education is about relationships, and that his job and success would not be possible without the collaboration and diligence of everyone else he works with both in his district and throughout the region.

Smith has been a classroom teacher, a principal, an assistant superintendent and now deputy superintendent. He has worked with staff and community members alike on various projects and committees, including a successful school district bond measure in 2008 and subsequent design of the state-of-the-art facilities in Hermiston. Smith also contributes significantly to the region. Recently he led an effort to unite all the area schools in the development of a common inter-district transfer procedure.

Link: Crystal Apple Awards – www.imesd.k12.or.us/crystalapple/home