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Washington State University

2016 Advocate for Education Award Recipients – Gene Sharratt

Gene Sharratt

Gene Sharratt

Dr. Gene Sharratt is currently the Executive Director for the Association of Educational Service Districts and OSPI Professional Learning Network.  Prior to this position, Dr. Sharratt served for three years on Governor Inslee’s Cabinet as Executive Director of the Washington Student Achievement Council. The Council is the lead state agency bringing together all sectors of the state’s education system, early learning through higher education, to improve access, attainment, and outcomes for all Washingtonians.

Before joining the Governor’s Cabinet, Dr. Sharratt spent ten years as a clinical assistant and associate college professor for Washington State University.  He served 30 years as a K-12 teacher, principal, school superintendent, and ESD superintendent in international and public schools.   This experience was in Washington, Alaska and Norway.

Dr. Sharratt has published numerous articles in professional journals and magazines.  Gene is the author of “Keeping on your Feet,” an inspirational book of how to overcome challenges in a positive and healthy manner.  He is the past president of the Washington Educational Research Association.

  • Ph.D. — Washington State University
  • MA — Pacific Lutheran University
  • BA — Washington State University
  • AA — Highline College
Some of Gene’s awards
  • Excellence in Leadership Award — College Success Foundation (2016)
  • Leadership in Science Educ. Award, Institute for Systems Biology (Valarie Logan) Award (2015)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Highline College (2015)
  • Lifetime Legacy Award, Washington Association of School Administrators (2013)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Association. of Washington School Principals (2013)
  • Lifetime Legacy Award, College of Education, Washington State University (2013)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Education, Pacific Lutheran University (2009)
  • Washingtonian of the Year, Washington Association of Business and Educational Leaders (2004)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Washington State University (1999)
  • Washington State School Superintendent of the Year (1991)
  • National Educational Administrator of the Year Award, NAEOP (1988)
  • Washington State Administrator of the Year, WAEOP, (1988)
  • Outstanding Teacher Award. Pi Lamda Theta Educational Honorary Society, WSU, (1982)

A new university-high school partnership… and joke

Here’s a joke that always brings the house down:

Who do Zooplankton get their Christmas gifts from?
Santa clausi

(**sound of crickets**)

OK, that doozy aside…

Zooplankton, phytoplankton, and other nutrients, including harmful algae and invasive copepods exist in the Columbia River estuary.

The Columbia River’s 146-mile estuary is one of the largest in the nation. Only the Missouri–Mississippi system carries more water. Rapid population growth has changed land use in the Columbia estuary’s watershed in ways that may affect coastal ecosystems.

That’s where WSU Vancouver professor Tamara Nelson comes in. Believe us when we say it’s not just to save everyone from our corny jokes.

She’s joining two other WSU faculty research to lead student-conducted Columbia estuary research. Why? Because it’s critical to understand how nutrients and organisms from upstream contribute to habitat degradation, and the spread of invasive species.

The official project name is called Columbia River Estuary Science Education and Outreach: a Landscape-scale University–High School Partnership Integrating Scientific and Educational Research.

Yes, it’s a mouthful. So… CRESCENDO, for short.

The high school students gather water, plankton, and hydrographic data in the estuary, to learn about and assess relative effects of cumulative watershed drainage, and local factors such as sewage outflows (there’s gotta be a joke in there somewhere).

Nelson will join Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens and Steve Bollens, both also from the Vancouver campus. The job of the trio is to gauge what students have learned about science and stewardship; students’ ecological knowledge and outlook.

The research plan called for students at five high schools along the estuary to spend two years collecting water samples, plankton tows, and hydrographic data.

Katherine C. Rodela, Ph.D.

Katherine Rodela smiling at camera

Katherine C. Rodela, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Sport Management
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
Vancouver Campus, VUB 317
14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue
Vancouver, WA  98686


Phone: 360-546-9676

Curriculum Vitae

Welcome to Katherine Rodela’s faculty page

I’m a faculty member in the Educational Leadership Program. I teach courses related to equity, social justice leadership, and inclusion of diverse communities, families, and students in K-12 schools, in WSU’s Administrative Credential, Masters, and Doctoral Programs.

My research agenda centers around the concept of leadership for equity and justice. As third-generation Mexican American and first-generation college student, I am committed to being a community-engaged scholar, whose work advances educational equity and culturally responsive education for marginalized communities, particularly low-income communities of color across the educational PK-20 pipeline. My focus on leadership for equity and diversity inspires three lines of qualitative research: (1) diversifying the educational leadership pathways in PK-12 education, (2) developing equity-focused school and district leaders, and (3) uplifting and centering the leadership of marginalized families and communities.

I am a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. I received a BA in Philosophy and History at Seattle University. I am a former Fulbright Scholar and worked on research project studying the civic engagement and leadership impacts of a childhood nutrition program in Peru. Before earning my Ph.D., I taught Spanish and Service Learning at an urban high school in Oregon.

Currently, I am engaged in these two research projects:

Diversifying the educational leadership pathways in PK-12 education:  Using CRT and LatCrit counterstorytelling methods (Solorzano & Yosso, 2002), I study the experiences and pathways of leaders of color across work positions, regions, and cultures. My work in this area first began with research with Latinx leaders and preservice teachers of color, and resulted in several publications. I also received the first George Brain and Gay Selby Faculty Award in Educational Leadership from WSU. This award helped fund continued research on the experiences and administrative pathways of leaders of color across races and cultures in the Pacific Northwest, which began in Fall 2020 and continues to today.

Uplifting and centering the leadership of marginalized families and communities: In various publications, I explore the voices, advocacy, and expertise of parents, families, and communities of color as legitimate, powerful educational leaders who can address systemic injustices in schools and districts. My scholarship in this area includes ethnographic examinations of Latinx immigrant parents’ leadership development and Latinx community advocacy, and critical literature reviews and conceptual work on expanding the boundaries of who counts as “educational leadership” to include youth, parent, family, and community leaders. My research in this strand seeks to support educational administrators to work with (rather than simply for) youth, families and communities in authentic partnerships.

This work also inspired leadership and outreach in the local SW Washington community. In partnership with Diana Avalos Leos, Director and Founder of Latino Leadership Northwest (formerly the Clark County Latino Youth Conference), we established the SW Washington Latino Parent Leadership Institute. We worked with a diverse group of school and parent leaders to offer parent education and leadership workshops to Spanish-speaking parents in the SW Washington and Portland Metro Area. Together with Ms. Avalos Leos, I studied the impacts of this program on Latinx parent engagement and leadership for equity in schools. We successfully ran two sessions of our workshops in Vancouver Public Schools (Fall 2016) and Woodland Public Schools (Spring 2017). Recently we engaged former participants in a study of their families’ experiences and children’s schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Informed by our findings, we hope to relaunch in later 2022 so all families feel comfortable attending in-person workshops. For more information about the project, please visit our Facebook Page.

Links to published articles

Note to educators, researchers, and graduate students: Many of the links below require a journal subscription to access the article. If you are a PK-12 educator or unable to access through your library, I’m always happy to share these articles directly. Feel free to email me at or connect via Research Gate!

Rodela, K., & Bertrand, M. (2021). Collective Visioning for Equity: Centering Youth, Family, and Community Leaders in Schoolwide Visioning Processes. Peabody Journal of Education, 96(4), 465-482.

Rodela, K., Rodriguez-Mojica, C., & Cochrun, A.* (2021). ‘You guys are bilingual aren’t you?’ Latinx educational leadership pathways in the New Latinx Diaspora. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 24(1), 84-107. doi:10.1080/13603124.2019.1566577

Rodela, K. & Rodriguez-Mojica, C. (2020). Equity Leadership Informed by Community Cultural Wealth: Counterstories of Latinx School Administrators. Educational Administration Quarterly, 56(2), 289-320. doi:10.1177/0013161X19847513

Rodela, K., Cochrun, A.*, Haines, D.*, & Journey, S.A.* (2020). Tiptoeing Around the Elephant in the Room: Discreet Activism For Social Justice in Conservative School Communities Following the 2016 Presidential Election. Journal of Education Human Resources (formerly Journal of School Public Relations), 38(1), 8-34.

Fernández, E. & Rodela, K. (2020). “Hay poder en numeros”: Understanding the development of a collectivist Latinx parent identity and conscientização amid an anti-immigrant climate. Teachers College Record, 122(8), 1-40.

Rodriguez-Mojica, C., Rodela, K., Ott, C.* (2020). “I didn’t wanna believe it was a race issue”: Student Teaching Experiences of Preservice Teachers of Color. The Urban Review, 52, 435-457. doi:10.1007/s11256-019-00546-x

Rodela, K., & Fernández, E. (2019). A Latina Mother on T.V.: Challenges of Intragroup Advocacy for Equity in a Latinx Community. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 32(10), 1270-1288. doi:10.1080/09518398.2019.1659445

Kruse, S. &, Rodela, K. (2019). When Hate Comes to Campus: Campus Readiness for Conflict, Safety, and Student Voice. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 22(3), 85-97.

Brooks, M.D., & Rodela, K. (2018). Why Am I in Reading Intervention? A Dual-Analysis of Entry and Exit Criteria. The High School Journal, 102(1), 72-93. doi:10.1353/hsj.2018.0020

Rodela, K., & Bertrand, M. (2018). Special Issue Introduction: Rethinking Educational Leadership in the Margins: Youth, Parent, and Community Leadership for Equity and Social Justice. Journal of Research in Leadership Education, 13(1), 3-9.

Bertrand, M., & Rodela, K. (2018). A framework for re-thinking educational leadership in the margins: implications for social justice leadership preparation. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 13(1), 10-37. [Special Issue: “Rethinking Educational Leadership in the Margins: Youth, Parent, and Community Leadership for Equity and Social Justice”].

Kruse, S., Rodela, K., Huggins, K. (2018). Messy Messages and Making Sense Across Complex Contexts: A Regional Network of Superintendents Confronting Equity. Journal of School Leadership, 28(1), 82-109.

Vossoughi, S. & Rodela, K. (2018). Rewriting class, culture, colonialism, and the “culture of poverty”: Ethnographic work by Eleanor Leacock, 1959-1980. [Special Issue: “Beyond the Culture of Poverty”]. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1080/15595692.2017.1421534

Rodela, K., & Tobin, J. (2017). On Anna’s Terms: Supporting a Student’s Gender Transition in Elementary School. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership20(4), 42-57.

Rodela, K. (2016). Undocumented Educational Leadership: The Development of Latina Mothers into Emergent Social Justice Leaders [Special Issue: “Latina/os and a Spirit of Dedication and Commitment Towards the Community]. National FORUM of Applied Educational Research Journal, 29(1&2), 21-33.

Gomez, K., Gomez, L., Rodela, K., Horton, E., Cunningham, J., Ambrocio, R. (2015). Embedding Language Support in Developmental Mathematics Lessons: Exploring the Value of Design as Professional Development for Community College Mathematics Instructors. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(5), 450-465.

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