Three school principals honored with new Leadership - Partnership Award by MnSCU

Posted: February 5, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Two high school principals and an elementary principal have been presented with a new Leadership - Partnership Award from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to recognize excellence in collaborating with one or more of the system’s colleges and universities to better serve students, communities and the state.

“We are honored to work with the state’s leaders in the elementary and secondary communities,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick. “The recognition of these three individuals represents our high regard for them, their schools and the students they serve. In the face of tight budgets and high expectations, these individuals are achieving remarkable results in the schools they lead and building strong connections with partner colleges and universities in the system.”

The awards were developed in collaboration with the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association and the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. This is the first year the awards have been presented. The categories and recipients follow:

Elementary Principal Leadership - Partnership Award: Andrew Collins, principal of Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School in St. Paul. The award honors Collins’ leadership and commitment to collaborations with Metropolitan State University on a number of projects including College for Kids, Literacy Corps, Library Outreach, Environmental Education and Urban Teaching Program placements. His nomination by two leaders from Metropolitan State’s Center for Community-Based Learning also cited Collins’ commitment to keeping students, staff, other school partners, and university staff informed about and included in school and campus activities. The award was presented Feb. 4 at the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association awards banquet in Bloomington.

Secondary Principal Leadership - Partnership Award: Laverne Hakly, principal of Virginia High School in Virginia, Minn. The award recognizes her strong advocacy and support for the work of Mesabi Range Community and Technical College and specifically for the Applied Learning Institute that offers college-level technical courses to high school juniors and seniors, theater programming and service on the college’s Wind and Emerging Technologies Advisory Committee.

Special Recognition Leadership - Partnership Award: Virginia Karbowski, former director of the Secondary Technical Education Program, which is part of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, is located on the Anoka Technical College campus. The special award recognizes Karbowski as a champion for career and technical education in Minnesota and as instrumental in maintaining a focus on the student “in the middle” who is often overlooked. On Feb. 1, Karbowski assumed a position as program director of career and technical education pathways in the Academic and Student Affairs Division, Office of the Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

These two awards were presented Jan. 29 at the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals Winter Workshop in Minneapolis.

The system worked closely with the two associations to develop the awards, said Cyndy Crist, system director for prekindergarten-16 collaboration. “We were pleased with the number and strength of nominations for these new awards,” Crist said. “They made clear the extent to which principals and other educators are working with college and university partners to create new and better ways to help students move seamlessly and successfully along their educational pathways.”

P. Fred Storti, executive director of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association, said the organization is pleased to participate with the system on the award. “We are proud to recognize the excellence and leadership of Andrew Collins for the many ways in which he is collaborating with Metropolitan State University,” Storti said. “I know that the students and teachers at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School and the community are benefiting from these collaborations.”

Joann Knuth, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, said: “We are very grateful for the recognition of these outstanding principals by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The Leadership - Partnership Award honors excellence in collaborations between a school and a college or university and reflects the importance of an ongoing relationship between our two organizations as we focus on the same goal: ensuring that all Minnesota students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.”