Leroy Werkoven is a retired educator with 30 years’ experience in Washington State’s K-12 schools. A co-founder of Altera (aka NLA), Leroy worked for the agency for 13 years as Director and Co-Executive Director. His vision for ALTERA is to continue to find ways to help rural youth find success in school and mature into contributing citizens.
He began his career as a technology teacher at Wapato High School, a rural school district wholly located on the Yakama Nation Reservation, where he went on to serve as principal for 15 years. During his tenure there, one of his students became the first valedictorian in the school’s history to deliver her speech in Spanish and English.
After retiring from teaching, Werkhoven was asked by the State’s Superintendent of Public Schools, Dr. Terry Bergeson, to travel the state promoting the School to Work initiative which resulted in the adoption of the High School and Beyond Plan that helps all Washington students to develop thoughtful plans for their careers after high school graduation.
Leroy has a Bachelor of Arts in education, with an endorsement in Technology Education, from Central Washington University. He received a Master's in School Administration from Western Washington University in 1984. He was granted an Honorary Masters in Humane Letters from Central Washington University in 2006.
Leroy served in the military 1969 t0 1971 and received the Silver Star in 1970 for valor in the Vietnam War. He was inducted into Central Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. He served for years on the Dollars for Scholars board and cycled 3,000 miles across America from Santa Barbara to St Augustine Florida, raising $80,000 for scholarships for local rural students.
He has served in many leadership positions both in his church and civic organization and has been recognized by multiple communities for his community services. He is curretnly a volunteer technology teacher at Sunnyside Christian High School in the lower Yakima Valley. When not working he enjoys participating in many hobbies, including biking, hiking, skiing, and woodworking.