Former City University of Seattle student Anthony Craig was recently named Outstanding Young Educator of the Year by the Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Anthony received the 2014 recognition because of his commitment to students and staff, his leadership, and his personal achievements.
“I am honored to have received this award. I believe, though, that my work is only made possible by the collaborative work I am able to do with my community, my colleagues, and my students. I wish there were ways to honor our entire school community for their hard work! I am thankful we’re being acknowledged for our efforts to establish a school that truly serves our community.”
Anthony was a student in CityU’s principal certification program and went on to get his doctorate from the University of Washington. Looking back on his time at CityU, Anthony said he appreciated the program’s flexibility that allowed him to continue teaching full time while he was enrolled. In addition, he said the opportunity to study his own context with an administrative lens was ideal.
“We’re thrilled Anthony was named Outstanding Young Educator of the Year,” said Marge Chow, Director of CityU’s Educational Leadership Programs. “The Marysville School District is fortunate to have such a visionary leader on board who is committed to serving his community. We wish Anthony the best of luck as he continues to grow as an educational leader.”
In his current role as principal of Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary School and a as member of the Yakama Nation, Anthony has made it a priority to foster an identity-safe place for all students.
“Our school works to ensure that all students feel they belong in our school and that the work we do here is relevant to them. Often students of color are sent subtle, unintentional messages that school and/or learning is not truly meant for them because they do not see themselves in the curriculum, or the staff is not representative of the diverse student body. A major part of our work is to ensure that we see the strengths of their cultures, languages, and experiences rather than seeing such diversity as an obstacle to overcome.”
Marysville School District Superintendent Becky Berg said Anthony has been a courageous leader who has confronted issues of racism and elitism, and does so in a way that unites—rather than divides.
When Anthony accepted the award, he said he was proud to be able to serve his community as a teacher and administrator, and mentioned his grandmother as a source of motivation to enter the field of education.
“As a member of the Yakama Nation I am very aware of the negative experiences that many American Indian communities have endured in educational systems. My grandmother did not escape these harsh circumstances as a child. Her belief, though, was that we can empower ourselves and our communities to develop school systems that are rich, rewarding, and positive parts of our community. She encouraged us in our family to serve the community as educators. Many of her children and grandchildren answered her call to action and now serve in schools across the state working to provide educational experiences that work to repair harm done in history.”
Looking ahead, Anthony said he hopes the Tulalip/Marysville community can serve as a model for “what a school can be—rich in culture, rigorous learning, and social-emotional well-being.”