OLYMPIA—Edison Elementary Principal Bruce
Cannard calls education a “team venture.” Today, the Edison
team is celebrating news that Cannard has been named the state’s
top elementary school principal of the year.
Cannard was selected as the 2009 Washington State Distinguished
Principal by the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) and
its elementary component board, the Elementary
School Principals Association of Washington (ESPAW).
Cannard’s ability to forge and foster relationships has earned
the respect of his colleagues, students and parents in the Edison
Elementary community. For Edison—a school with a large number of
English language learners and a high level of
poverty—Cannard’s investment in relationship-building is
paying dividends in the form of strong staff engagement, increased
parent involvement and a heightened focus on student achievement.
“None of us is as smart as all of us,” says Cannard of
his collaborative work with the Edison staff. Together, they have
implemented a model of instruction using the key elements of purpose,
engagement, rigor and results. In addition to supporting Edison’s
Dual Language Program, Cannard has also led the effort to revamp the
school’s reading instruction through the building-wide
implementation of the Response to Intervention (RTI) model.
“Our efforts are critical to the future opportunities of each
child we serve,” says Cannard. “It is this belief in the
crucial role we play in student lives that binds our staff together in a
common mission.” An important part of this role for Cannard is
developing a strong rapport with Edison students. On any given day, he
is likely to be seen joining students for a chat over a brown-bag lunch,
or practicing his Spanish skills to make a new student from Mexico feel
welcome, or getting a laugh out of the students as his alter ego,
This year, Cannard helped form the Edison Action Team for
Partnership, a parent-teacher team dedicated to creating a school
community climate that promotes student achievement. The group designs
activities for parents and children, such as Family Reading Night,
Family Bingo and Math Addventure.
“Bruce is a man of high integrity and compassion,” says
Greg Fancher, assistant superintendent of elementary education at
Kennewick School District. “All of his successes are the result of
strong, trusting relationships on a professional and personal
Cannard’s credentials include a Master in Education and
administrative credentials from Washington State University, and a
Bachelor of Science and teaching certificate from University of
Washington. He has been a building administrator for more than 20
Selected from a group of 18 regional honorees in
Washington, Cannard will represent the state in the National
Distinguished Principal Program. He will be recognized for his
accomplishments by AWSP and ESPAW this fall at The
Principals’ Conference in Yakima.
Distinguished Principals Program is sponsored by the National
Association of Elementary School Principals in cooperation with the U.S.
Department of Education and AIG VALIC. The formal award ceremony for all
state nominees takes place in Washington D.C. each fall. Nominees
participate in a series of events and activities over the course of two
days, culminating in a formal awards banquet.
About the Association of Washington School Principals
The Association of Washington School Principals is a
professional association serving principals, assistant principals and
principals in training. Formed in 1972, the Association now includes
more than 3,400 members from public and private elementary, middle and
high schools statewide. It is governed by a board of practicing
principals composed of members drawn from three grade-specific boards
representing the elementary, middle and high school levels. The mission
of AWSP is to support principals and assistant principals and the
principalship in the education of all students. For more information on
the Association, visit the AWSP Web site at www.awsp.org.
# # #