Dr. Edward Lee Vargas Named Outstanding Educator by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)

Monday, February 27th, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—February 24, 2017—The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) will honor Dr. Edward Lee Vargas, a nationally recognized educator and speaker, with the Outstanding Educator Award at its 12th Annual ALAS Recognition Reception on March 3, 2017, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

A former ALAS Board member and President, Dr. Edward Lee Vargas currently serves as Executive Vice President for AVID Center’s National and International Programs.  He brings a wealth of highly successful multi-state and international leadership experiences and accolades as Superintendent of Schools in multiple states, having been named State Superintendent of the Year in California in 2006 and Washington in 2014. He is the only Latino Superintendent to receive this honor in more than one state.
Before joining AVID, Dr. Vargas served for six years as Superintendent of the Kent School District, the fourth largest and most diverse urban district in the State of Washington, with more than 138 languages spoken. In Kent, Dr. Vargas was credited with developing a strong School Board-Superintendent team, implementing numerous systemic initiatives and innovative programs resulting in significant increases in student achievement for all subgroups of students. Dr. Vargas’ leadership also resulted in the creation of “iGrad”, a mall-based blended learning dropout recovery and free community college degree program based on mastery vs. seat time in partnership with Greenriver Community College. The program won the National School Board’s Grand Prize for innovation in 2014.

Dr. Vargas also has a long history of leadership in California, from serving as one of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators’ (CALSA) founding Board members to holding top leadership positions in Santa Ana Unified and Hacienda La Puente Unified school districts.  As Superintendent in Hacienda La Puente, he significantly raised academic achievement for every student subgroup, developed career pathways, developed safe schools, was recognized by the California State Assembly for his leadership and was named California Superintendent of the Year and finalist for AASA’s National Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Vargas is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership for creating high performing school systems grounded in equity and excellence for all, and Distinguished Lecturer on “School System Readiness to Transform”, keynoting numerous state and national conferences, including the President’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on 21st Century Skills, speaking at USA-China Educational Symposiums in China and presenting at Microsoft’s Global Forum on Technology in Prague, in the Czech Republic in 2012 and in Barcelona, Spain in 2014.
“Dr. Vargas has had an outstanding career in education, with an emphasis on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.” Dr. Nancy Lewin, ALAS Executive Director, said. “We honor him for his many accomplishments and look forward to the contributions he will continue to make in our field.”

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About the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS)
The ALAS mission is to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students, with an emphasis on Latino youth, by building capacity, promoting best practices, and transforming educational institutions. ALAS was established in 2003 in response to a lack of national advocacy and representation of Latino students.

Contact:  Dr. Nancy Lewin, Executive Director, (202) 466-0808 or nlewin@alasedu.org