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Westwood Middle School Principal Dr. Erika Burden named 2020 Advocacy Champion of the Year

Cheney Public Schools is pleased to announce that Westwood Middle School principal Dr. Erika Burden has been named the 2020 Advocacy Champion of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ (NASSP) for advocating on behalf of all school leaders to strengthen America’s public schools and ensure the success of each student, and for her significant contributions in advancing the policy agenda of NASSP.  The Advocacy Champion of the Year award, now in its second year, recognizes school leaders for accomplishments and efforts aligned to the policy and advocacy goals of NASSP.
Dr. Burden was honored during a virtual presentation attended by NASSP leadership, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5), and leadership from the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP).
Dr. Burden promotes NASSP action alerts to school leaders across Washington state in her role as NASSP middle level state coordinator — empowering those leaders with tools to advocate for the needs of their students, schools, and communities. At the federal level, Dr. Burden has conducted many meetings with members of Congress and their staffs as part of the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference. She regularly invites lawmakers to shadow her for a day, which provides them with a firsthand look at the growing equity issues she faces. She has also worked to secure public education and professional development funding and campaigned for increased school safety measures, mental health resources, and suicide prevention programming.
“Dr. Burden has made concerted efforts to develop lasting, meaningful relationships with her state lawmakers and has driven collective impact and changed the lives of her students,” NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti said.

The District is fortunate that Dr. Burden has chosen to share her expertise with the children of the Cheney Public Schools, and grateful for her tireless work advocating for students, school leaders and public education.