History of COSA

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators was founded on July 1, 1974. It incorporated two years of planning among school principals, elementary and secondary, and superintendents. It brought together three administrator organizations – Oregon Elementary School Principals Association, Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators and the Oregon Association of School Administrators.

From its founding, COSA has been focused on the interests of students, the improvement of their educational opportunities and the professional development of Oregon’s school leaders.

Before 1974, all education professionals – teachers and administrators – were members of the Oregon Education Association. With passage of the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act in 1973, the education community was divided into labor and management groups. COSA was formed during that change.

COSA is now comprised of four administrative groups including principals, superintendents and central office administrators. The Oregon Association of School Executives, school superintendents, began in 1936 as a department of the Oregon Education Association. The Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators and Oregon Association of Elementary School Principals began as OEA departments in 1928. Executive services for OESPA and OASSA were provided by ODE until the mid-1970s after COSA was created.

COSA’s first Executive Director was Dr. R.L. “Ozzie” Rose. He remained COSA’s top staffer until he retired in 2003. Ozzie built COSA from a two-person operation to one that now employs 16 people full or part time. It has grown into one of the three major education organizations in the state and is a respected voice for school administrators in government and to the public at large.

Kent Hunsaker, longtime superintendent of Bethel School District, was hired as COSA’s second Executive Director in 2003. Kent was an expert on school funding and management issues and continued the growth of COSA’s role in providing its members with essential services, professional development and governmental advocacy in behalf of students and education leaders in Oregon.  Kent retired from COSA in June of 2011.