March 02, 2017

Alumnus Matt Utterback has been named 2017 National Superintendent of the Year

Utterback received this top honor for his work as superintendent of Oregon’s North Clackamas school district, where his equity-driven leadership dramatically improved graduation rates and notched state-leading student growth and achievement levels.
  • Matt Utterback is named National Superindentent of the Year at the AASA annual conference.

The National Superintendents Association (AASA) has named alumnus Matthew Utterback (MAT ’95, Educational Leadership ’05) National Superintendent of the Year.

As reported by the Portland Tribune, Utterback stood out due to his district’s work improving education for all students, especially for marginalized groups. Between 2012 and 2016, NCSD’s graduation rate jumped from 69 to 83 percent, with low-income and minority students making up much of the student body.

“It really wasn’t until 2009 that I had the opportunity to go to a race-based equity training that I realized how important equity is to great public schools,” he said. “What I learned is that my whiteness matters, and it taught me to look at my students differently and as individuals.”

Utterback continued, saying that there has never been a more critical time for public education in the U.S., given that many people consider it to be under attack by the current presidential administration. Rather than seeing public education as a target, Utterback sees the current national political situation as evidence of a lack of understanding about the value of public schools in a democracy.

Read the full article or listen to OPB’s interview online.