Dr. Edward Vargas
Kent School District
12033 SE 256th Street, A-200
Kent, WA 98030-6503
Bus. Phone: (253) 373-7000
Dr. Vargas is currently the superintendent of the Kent School District, the fourth largest district in the State of Washington. Dr. Vargas is a nationally recognized educational leader and was named California Superintendent of the Year in 2006 by the California Association of School Administrators and the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Vargas most recently had served as a Superintendent in Residence for a non-profit foundation dedicated to social justice, working with other superintendents and their district leadership teams from large urban school districts as an executive coach and trainer, assisting them in executing system-wide reforms designed to promote equity and excellence for all students, close the achievement gap, and create high performance school systems.
Dr. Vargas has held top leadership positions in large urban school districts in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington State. Prior to being asked to provide leadership as a Superintendent in Residence to other system leaders around the country, Dr. Vargas was Superintendent for the very diverse 89,000 student Pre-K-Adult Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in Los Angeles County, California where significant and rapid increases in student achievement received state and national attention. While in Texas as superintendent, Dr. Vargas led the Ysleta Independent School District to become the highest achieving large urban district in the State of Texas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Vargas served as a classroom teacher, school psychologist, and District Diagnostic Coordinator in the Albuquerque Public Schools, as well as a site administrator and Director in the Seattle Public Schools. Dr. Vargas then went on to serve as Assistant Superintendent of learning and accountability services in the Santa Ana Unified School District in southern California before accepting his first superintendency.
Dr. Vargas is a prominent speaker on leadership and system improvement. Some more recent speaking engagements included being a Distinguished Lecturer on "School System Readiness to Transform” at this year’s National ALAS Conference, addressing the National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on 21st Century Skills, and speaking at USA-China Educational Symposiums in both the United States and China. He has also served on numerous state and national boards and associations, including the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, received numerous awards for outstanding leadership, including those from the State of New Mexico, the California State Department of Education, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, City Mayors, California State Legislative Assembly, as well as special congressional recognition from members of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. Most recently, Dr. Vargas was invited to a meeting with President Obama and US Secretary of Education Duncan regarding the "Race to the Top” White House initiative in education.
Dr. Vargas received his master’s from the University of New Mexico and his Doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington.