GSE graduate named 2011 OR Middle School Principal of the Year

Susan Rieke-Smith, IAL ’04, CAL ‘09, has been named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). Ms. Rieke-Smith is the principal of Salem/Keizer’s Houck Middle School. She will accept her award at this month’s annual COSA Conference in Seaside. She did both her Initial Administrator Licensure (IAL) and her Continuing Administrator License (CAL) through PSU’s Executive Leadership program in Salem.

“Susan Rieke-Smith is an outstanding leader,” says Professor Dan Johnson, her cohort leader in the Executive Leadership program. “She is truly outstanding as a middle school principal.” Professor Johnson’s endorsement is supported by the phenomenal improvement of test scores at Ms. Rieke-Smith’s school since she began there in 2007. She has managed to guide the school in impressive advances in both reading and math across all student groups.

Houck Middle School has 85 percent of students in free and reduced lunch programs and 30 percent are qualified for ESL services.

Ms. Rieke-Smith is well-known for supporting her faculty and can more frequently be found in classrooms rather than in her office. She is a strong proponent in using data to assist teachers in analyzing and improving classroom instruction.

She joins fellow PSU alumna and last year’s Oregon winner, Cathy Carnahan, CAL ‘07, principal of Duniway Middle School in McMinnville, who additionally won National Middle School Principal of the Year.

As Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year, Ms. Rieke-Smith will automatically be entered into the national competition, held in July. She is also invited to the State Principals of the Year Institute and Awards Gala in Washington, DC, in September. Congratulations from the GSE faculty and staff!

Read more about the state awards program

Read more about the national awards program

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