Matthew Utterback, Superintendent of North Clackamas Schools in Milwaukie, Ore., has been named the 2017 AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, awarded the honor to Utterback at its National Conference on Education.

Utterback has worked for nearly 30 years in public education, the past four years as superintendent at North Clackamas, which has more than 17,000 students on 32 school campuses.

The AASA says the North Clackamas School district is considered an innovative educational leader in Oregon.

The Portland Oregonian says that under Utterback's leadership, the North Clackamas graduation rate and test scores went from mediocre to near-tops among large Oregon districts.

The association uses four criteria to select the superintendent of the year: leadership, communication. professionalism and community involvement.

The other finalists were Barbara Jenkins of Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools; Stewart McDonald of the Kodiak Island Borough School District in Kodiak, Alaska; and James Merrill of the Wake County (N.C.) Public School System.