Denny Hurtado, former chair of the Skokomish Tribe and retired director of Indian Education for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), is the 2014 recipient of the University of Washington Charles E. Odegaard Award.
Established in 1973, the Odegaard award honors individuals whose leadership in the community exemplifies the former UW president’s work on behalf of diversity. It is the only University and community-selected award, and is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.
The award will be presented at the 44th annual EOP Celebration, Fête and Honors hosted by OMA&D and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) on Thur., May 22. The dinner and scholarship fundraiser will be held at the Husky Union Building on the UW campus (5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. dinner).
“Denny’s passion, dedication and pioneering efforts have left a legacy that has transformed education, not only for Native American students, but for every student in the state,” said Sheila Edwards Lange, UW vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity. “We celebrate his groundbreaking work in the K-12 educational system and honor him for his outstanding leadership.”
Hurtado retired from OSPI in 2013 after a 12-year tenure. In this role, he worked with 29 tribes and led the creation of groundbreaking curriculum geared towards elementary, middle and high school educators. The curriculum, “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State,” was developed in response to House Bill 1495 passed in 2005 by the state legislature to better educate administrators about tribal history in Washington.
Hurtado also presented workshops and trainings in the areas of Indian education, culturally responsive curriculum and professional development. He helped develop Northwest Native American reading curriculum and co-authored the article “Reading First, Literacy and American Indian Students” published in the Journal of American Indian Education.
Hurtado’s contributions also extend to the UW. As a member of the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Advisory Committee, he is helping lead an effort to build a longhouse on the UW campus that will support Native American student success. Hurtado is also a host and facilitator for the UW’s annual Tribal Leadership Summit; immediate past president and current member of the UW Native American Advisory Board, and advisor for the UW College of Education.
Prior to his position at OSPI, Hurtado was the director of Upward Bound at The Evergreen State College. He was also president of the Northwest Association of Special Programs (now the Northwest Association of Educational Opportunity Programs), representing federal TRIO programs that assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds. From 1978-1992, he was an Indian commercial fisherman and substitute teacher.
Hurtado is an enrolled member of the Skokomish Tribe and a resident of the Skokomish Reservation. He served on its tribal council for the past 19 years, holding positions of chairman, vice-chairman and general council president. Hurtado holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and a lifetime secondary teaching credential from California State University Sacramento. He received his master’s degree in school administration from California State University Humboldt.
For more information about EOP Celebration, Fête and Honors or the Charles E. Odegaard Award, visit the Celebration web site.