Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Steven Webb was a guest of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, May 3. Webb was invited to the White House Great Educators Event to honor the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, state teachers of the year and other distinguished educators. Webb is the 2016 Washington State Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to represent our students, staff and community as President Obama celebrates public education and our nation’s educators. They are the true heroes who endeavor each and every day to transform student lives,” said Webb. “This special recognition honors our community’s vision for its schools and the remarkable progress being made together on behalf of our children.”

In Vancouver, Webb has led efforts to increase program choices in grades K-12, expand school-community partnerships that meet the needs of poverty-affected children, and personalize education through the use of one-to-one technology. Since 2010, the four-year on-time graduation rate has risen from 64 percent to more than 80 percent.

In recognition of his work to develop community schools, Webb was named one of 13 Education Week Leaders to Learn From in 2016. He also received the National Coalition for Community Schools Superintendent Leadership Award for 2016, and was named a U.S. Department of Education Future Ready Leader.

Webb has provided national leadership through the American Association of School Administrators Digital Consortium, Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, Coalition for Community Schools and U.S. Department of Education Future Ready Initiative.

“Steve is an outstanding voice for public education. His leadership throughout the district, at the national level and within the Washington Association of School Administrators comes at a time when we need strong advocates for our schools,” said Dr. Bill Keim, WASA executive director.

Vancouver Public Schools enrolls approximately 24,000 students at 37 schools and specialized program sites. Webb first joined the district as deputy superintendent in 2006 and was appointed to serve as superintendent in 2008.