Hero in Education

Elissa Dyson
The purpose of the Hero in Education Award is to publicly acknowledge an advocate who has provided continuous and extraordinary support for public education and exemplifies WSSDA’s mission. This award is the highest honor WSSDA can give to that rare individual who, through the management or leadership of an educational program or advocacy effort, has had a significant statewide or national impact. This award is not necessarily given every year and is only conferred upon unanimous approval by the WSSDA Board of Directors.

Past Recipients

  • 2018 Elissa Dyson, School Director, Onion Creek School District
  • 2016 Senator Patty Murray
  • 2014 Representative Kathy Haigh
  • 2012 Senator Rosemary McAuliffe


  • Proven activism in legislative and/or local issues pertaining to K-12 schools
  • Exemplary relationship with school board directors, superintendents, educators, parents and community members
  • Leadership has had a significant statewide or national impact in support of public education


WSSDA members complete nomination forms to include:

  • One typewritten page describing the actions which distinguish the nominee as deserving this award
  • Obtain three letters in support of the nomination
  • Provide documentation of specific heroic acts to education – no more than two pages


  • Nominations are due to WSSDA no later than May 31st
  • WSSDA’s Board of Directors votes on nominees
  • If the board unanimously approves, the award is presented at the WSSDA Annual Conference


WSSDA members can fill out this form to nominate someone for the award:

Make a nomination