Minnesota School Boards Association Winner of NSBA 2016 Innovation Award for Pursuit of Innovation to Affect Student Outcomes

August 13, 2016

Alexandria, Va., (August 13, 2016) The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is pleased to announce the NSBA 2016 Innovation Award was presented to the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), in recognition of its innovative approach leading to enhanced leadership and association capacity, and renewed commitment to equity and diversity in student achievement.

"Creativity and innovation are vital components in the classroom, the boardroom, and as lifelong pursuits,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director for NSBA. “MSBA took a creative approach to problem solving and critical thinking that is already making an impact within the association and its member districts, exemplifying a pathway toward enhanced member service and renewed student focus.”

Kevin Donovan president of MSBA accepted the award on behalf of the association at NSBA’s Summer Leadership Seminar, Aug. 13, in Chicago. “We are deeply honored to be the first recipient of the NSBA Innovation Award,” said Donovan, who is a Mahtomedi School Board member. “Earning this prestigious award helps validate the MSBA Board of Directors’ vision in enhancing our association for our membership.”

Facing a growing diverse student population, and an achievement gap--currently among the widest in the nation--MSBA is working diligently to help build an education system that better meets the needs of all the children its school board members serve. Its strategic plan and new brand strategy significantly enhances its position as the go-to public education organization in the state. A key aspect of the association’s equity and diversity focus are trainings offered to its school board members within the state. 

Focusing its energy on preparing for the future, and with its renewed focus on equity and removing barriers to student learning, MSBA will be the proactive authority and educational partner for Minnesota school boards, and this will enhance public education in the state. MSBA’s concerted focus on helping Minnesota school board members learn to lead will help them be ever more prepared to offer innovative solutions to improve educational opportunities to every school-aged child.

“We’ve taken a huge leap in what we’re doing to help the association grow, and to build our infrastructure to make us a forward thinking, future thinking association that can better serve our members,” said Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA’s Executive Director. “We’re very excited and appreciative of this recognition.”

MSBA’s future thinking strategy will be showcased in the upcoming digital supplement to the October issue of American School Boards Journal, NSBA’s flagship magazine. An additional feature of winning the Innovation Award, Donovan will have an opportunity to make a difference outside of Minnesota. In January 2017, he will embark on a Lifetouch Memory Mission® to the Dominican Republic and be part of a greater volunteer effort to build an elementary school that will serve hundreds of children in Constanza.

Hear from the Minnesota School Boards Association in this short video.

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