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College of Education and Professional Studies

CWU Alumnus Named State’s 2017 Assistant Principal of the Year

“I don’t think there are enough Latino role models in education, not only in teaching but also in administration,” said Ricardo Iñiguez, Wenatchee High School (WHS) assistant principal. The CWU alumnus should be considered a role model after being named the 2017 Washington State Assistant Principal of the Year, by the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals, a governing board of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP).

Iñiguez, who earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1998 and master’s degree in school administration in 2000, is in his 11th year at WHS.

He was honored for his leadership of the WHS Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative.

Now in its second year, PBIS provides ways for students to recognize staff and their fellow students, and staff to recognize students for positive actions and behavior. The program is itself receiving recognition for verifiable increases in attendance rates, decreases in out-of-school concerns, and number of students succeeding in the classroom.

Before joining the Wenatchee High School administration, Iñiguez taught in a program to serve at-risk youth at Spanaway Lake High School in the Bethel School District, where he also served as the defensive coordinator for the football team. He then spent a few years at Stewart Middle School in the Tacoma School District.

From a migrant farm worker family, Iñiguez and his seven brothers and three sisters, all graduated from college. In addition, they established CWU’s first Latino Scholarship Endowment.

“I still appreciate my time at CWU and I’m thankful to everyone that has contributed to my journey so far,” said the soft-spoken Iñiguez.

A 1992 graduate of Wahluke High School, Iñiguez originally enrolled at CWU with the intent play baseball. He switched to football, where he remains regarded as among the best linebackers in school history. He recorded 210 career tackles, including a then school-record 126 in 1996, was twice named to the Columbia Football Association all-star team, and was CWU’s Most Valuable Player in 1997 and was awarded the team’s Best Tackler award in 1996. Iñiguez was inducted into CWU Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the school’s 1995 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football National Championship team.

The 43-year-old Othello native saw two of brothers, Emilio and Simon, follow in his cleats and play football for the Wildcats.

Professionally, Iñiguez has also served as chair of the Hispanic Latino Legislative Organization and on the state’s Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Iñiguez will be honored at both the AWSP/Washington Association of School Administrators Summer Conference, June 26-28, in Spokane, and, along with the other state assistant principals of the year, at the 2017 National Principals Conference, July 6-12, in Philadelphia.

Iñiguez is quick to share the credit for the recognition with WHS students, staff, the community, and his family.

“May we all feel recognized for the work that we’re doing,” he added. “I also want to thank my wife Maria, for her unwavering support, and my 5-year-old son Noah for reminding me every day that I have a lot to be thankful for.”

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,