MnSCU honors two school principals with Leadership - Partnership Awards

Posted: March 2, 2011

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Two Minnesota principals have received Leadership - Partnership Awards from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to honor excellence in collaborating with the system’s colleges and universities to better serve students, communities and the state.

The honorees are Les Koppendrayer, principal of Franklin Elementary School in Mankato, and Bruce Gilman, principal of Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

“We are proud to honor these two strong education leaders,” said Chancellor James H. McCormick. “Jointly recognizing these principals with the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association and the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals highlights the value we all place on working together to help students move seamlessly and successfully along their educational pathways.”

Koppendrayer received the Elementary Principal Leadership - Partnership Award for creating and nurturing partnerships with Minnesota State University, Mankato. These partnerships include mentoring new principal candidates, facilitating graduate teaching fellows and student teachers, and supporting math-focused research and professional development. In nominating Koppendrayer, Jean Haar, interim dean of the university’s College of Education, cited his work with the university’s Elementary Learning Community to create a safer and more attractive outdoor environment for Franklin students and for giving aspiring teachers opportunities to gain skills relevant to their future teaching careers.

Gilman received the Secondary Principal Leadership - Partnership Award.
Nominated by Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Gilman was described as an “early adapter” of allowing Roosevelt students to be assessed for college readiness during high school, providing teachers with professional development on college readiness and giving students opportunities to pursue college-level learning in high school. Gilman also joined with Minneapolis Community and Technical College on several other student-focused initiatives.

The annual awards, which are being presented for the second year, were developed in collaboration with the two principals’ associations.

P. Fred Storti, executive director of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association, said: “We are proud to recognize the excellence and leadership of Les Koppendrayer for a rich history of collaborating with Minnesota State University, Mankato. I know that the students and teachers at Franklin Elementary School and the community benefit from these collaborations.”

Joann Knuth, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, said: “The Leadership - Partnership Award reflects the importance of an on-going relationship between our two organizations as we focus on our shared goal of ensuring that all Minnesota students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.”