Dr. Wade Smith, Superintendent
My Core Values:
"I strive to be an inspirational leader who believes that leveraging collaborative cultures built on organizational trust is the the most effective way to maximize internal capacity to ensure high levels of learning for all."
Dr. Wade Smith joined Walla Walla Public Schools in 2016, serving as its 16th superintendent over its 165 year history as a school district. Prior to coming to Walla Walla, he served as Interim and Deputy Superintendent for the Hermiston School District. During his twenty-five year educational tenure, Wade has worked as a classroom teacher, elementary and secondary principal, central office administrator, and Superintendent.
Smith grew up near Beaverton, OR. A son of a construction worker and career secretary, he is a first-generation college student who attended Willamette University, studying chemistry and instrumental music. After experiencing an introduction to teaching course early on during his college tenure his passion for education and serving students was born.
While at Willamette, Wade met his wife, Marianne. They enrolled and completed the Masters in Education program together and have been happily married for twenty five years. They have two daughters, one who graduated from WaHi in 2019 and their youngest who graduated in 2022. Marianne is a teacher in the neighboring Milton-Freewater School District, serving as a high school art teacher.
First srarting out as a high school science teacher, Wade then pursued his principal and superintendent credentials through Lewis and Clark College. He later earned his doctorate in education, his dissertation focused on construction delivery models associated with K-12 capital referenda.
In 2021 Dr. Smith was recognized by the Washington Association of School Administrator's with the Robert J. Handy Most Effective Leader Award for all large school districts in Washington State. Smith also received the WASA Student Achievement Leadership Award in 2021 for improving outcomes for students by closing the graduation gap for Hispanic/Latino students. Dr. Smith has served on a number of state committees, workgroups, and advisory roles advocating for Improved student outcomes, experiences and opportunities.
When he is not busy supporting either community or district events, you are likely to find Wade spending time recreating in the mountains as an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.
To follow his progress and activities in the Walla Walla Schools, in addition to his community engagement and volunteerism, feel free to follow him on Twitter @WallaWallaSup.
Superintendent Video Series & Monthly Pulse Updates
Educational Leadership & Involvement
- WSU-Vancouver Professional Education Advisory Board 2022-25
- Walla Walla Blue Zones Steering Committee: 2020-Present
- WASA/AASA Communities of Practice Workgroup: 2020-Present
- Walla Walla Noon Rotary 2016-Present
- WASA Region 123 Board Member: 2018-2022
- WASA School Funding Coalition: 2020-21
- OSPI Student Learning Advisory Workgroup: 2020-21
- OSPI Staffing Enrichment Workgroup: 2019-20
- ESD 123 Superintendent President: 2018-20
- Walla Walla School Board Vital to Students' Success (Op Ed Article) 1/23
- Celebrating American Education Week - A Ride-a-long With Driver Robb (Op Ed Article) 11/22
- The "Shine" is Back at Walla Walla Public Schools (Op Ed Article) 9/22
- Beyond the Pandemic (Op Ed Article) 5/22
- The State of Our Schools: A Rotary Club report from 1926 (Op Ed Article) 2/22
- Honoring the Present-Lessons from our Past: Celebrating American Education Week (Op Ed Article) 11/2021
- One of My Best Cups of Coffee Ever (Op Ed Article) 8/2021
- We All Belong Here (Op Ed Article) 7/2021
- What Schools Have Learned (or relearned) as a Result of the Pandemic (Op Ed Article) 2/2021
- Children Need to Get Back to School - It's Up to our Community to Help Make that Happen (Op Ed Article) 8/2020
- What Does Fall Hold for our Local Schools (Op Ed Article) 6/2020
- A Spring Unlike Any Other (Op Ed Article) 4/2020
- Levy Appreciation (Op Ed Article) 2/2020
- Winter 2020 District Update (Service Club Presentation) 1/2020
- Ringing in the New Year (Op Ed Article) 1/2020
- Time to Shine the Walla Walla Way Bat Signal (Op Ed Article) 9/2019
- Remembering September 11 0/2019
- Going All In: A Year of Accomplishments (Op Ed Article) 6/2019
- Once a Blue Devil Always a Blue Devil (Op Ed Article) 9/2018
- Superintendent Advisory Group Presentation 9/2018
- School Safety is Number One (Op Ed Article) 7/2018
- The Importance of High Expectations (Family Forum: 3/2018)
- Getting to Home Plate (Op Ed Article) (7/2017)
- The Future For Walla Walla Schools (Op Ed Article) 4/2017
- WWPS Vision (Op Ed Article) 1/2017
- In the Business of Saving Lives (Op Ed Article) 11/2016