Polaris Leadership Award

The Minnesota Association of School Administrators, with the support of Ehlers, is pleased to sponsor the Polaris Leadership Award, presented each fall in recognition of exemplary school leadership by an MASA member with twenty or more years of administrative experience.

• The award is presented at the MASA Fall Conference.

• The recipient receives a recognition plaque and a monetary award.

• The recipient will be asked to address the conference attendees.

• A news release will be distributed to pertinent media in the coverage area of the recipient.


Nominees may be self-nominated or nominated by another member of MASA. Nominations must be made on the official MASA form available through the MASA office by the deadline date noted on the form. A committee of MASA past presidents will select an annual recipient.


The recipient must be a current active or associate member of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. The recipient will have at least twenty years of successful educational
administrative experience. Administrative experience may include the principalship, central office administration, and/or the superintendency.

The recipient shall have demonstrated the following attributes or characteristics throughout their career:

• professional courage leading to positive change

• creation of a legacy of excellent leadership

• a lifelong career contribution of commitment to excellence on behalf of all students

• exemplifying positive reasons that a person would choose to practice

• fostering innovation and ideas that make a difference for students and the school community

• a lifetime of balanced achievement inside and outside of education

• contribution to the practice of educational leadership through example and mentoring

• exemplary conduct reflecting integrity and bearing emulation

• significant tenure in each position to support district vision and affect positive change.

MASA is a member service organization of over 500 school leaders such as superintendents, directors of special education, curriculum directors, other central office administrators, and service providers.

As advocates for children, MASA’s educational leaders establish the statewide agenda for children, serve as the preeminent voice for public education, and empower members through quality services and support.

Past Polaris Award Recipients:

2014  Jerald Nesland, Executive Director, Freshwater Education District
2013  Ric Dressen, Superintendent, Edina Public Schools
2012  Wendy Shannon, Retired Superintendent, Byron Public Schools
2011  Jack Almos, Retired Superintendent, Hinckley-Finlayson Public Schools

2010  Harold Remme, Superintendent, New Ulm Public Schools
2009  Greg Vandal, Superintendent, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools

2008  Roger Giroux, Superintendent, Anoka-Hennepin School District