UW News

March 3, 2014

Denny Hurtado to receive UW’s 2014 Odegaard Award

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Denny FurtadoDenny Hurtado, former chair of the Skokomish Tribe and retired director of Indian Education for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 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 regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.

The award will be presented May 22 at the 44th Celebration, Fête and Honors, an event hosted by the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program.

“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 the state office of public instruction in 2013 after a 12-year tenure. In this role, he worked with 29 tribes and led the creation of curriculum geared towards elementary, middle and high school educators. He also presented workshops and trainings in Indian education, culturally responsive curriculum and professional development.

As a member of the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (Intellectual House) Advisory Committee, he is helping lead an effort to build a longhouse on the UW campus that will support Native American students. 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.

Previously, Hurtado directed Upward Bound at The Evergreen State College, served as president of the Northwest Association of Special Programs (now the Northwest Association of Educational Opportunity Programs), and 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 the May 22 event and the Odegaard award is on the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s website.