Alumna Joins Exclusive Company with National Award

Alumna Joins Exclusive Company with National Award

Education isn’t only a career for Cindy Sholtys-Cromwell; it’s her passion.

Over her 27-year career, she has taught high school, served as an assistant principal at Coweeman Middle School, served as principal at Butler Acres Elementary, and is now the principal of Loowit High School and Kelso Virtual Academy in southwest Washington.

“I love collaborating with other principals and educators to improve, grow, and refine systems and methods to ensure all students are achieving at high levels,” said Sholtys-Cromwell, a 1995 CWU education alumna. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my work.”

One of Sholtys-Cromwell’s most notable accomplishments came in 2021, when she was recognized as the National Digital Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She is extremely proud of that recognition, but she recognizes that she couldn’t have achieved it on her own.

“The award is a reflection of the hard work of my amazing team and the dedication we had to the Kelso community in the middle of the pandemic,” she said.

As a first-generation college student from Toppenish, Sholtys-Cromwell credits CWU with providing her a solid foundation for her career. During her time in Ellensburg, she often relied on help from university faculty and staff, and she points to that support as a key contributor to her success.

“One of the things I appreciated about Central was the phenomenal staff that were a part of my education,” she said.

“To this day, I reflect upon many CWU faculty members, and I strive to follow their example.”

To those looking to follow in her footsteps, Sholtys-Cromwell advises them to never forget what it feels like to be a student.

“Listen to your students’ voices, be a champion for them, and help every single one of them find their gifts and talents,” she said.

More than 25 years after earning her degree, Sholtys-Cromwell remains appreciative of her time at CWU and hopes to encourage current and future Wildcats to dream big.

“I am very proud of the fact that I am an alumna of Central and have shared that message with many principals and educators across the nation,” she said. “I would love to be able to encourage and support future and current Wildcats to make the message loud and clear that Central Washington University produces the best!”

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