‘Nothing happens with any one individual’
BY Paul Groessel
Sun POST Newspapers
To Osseo Area School District Supt. Kate Maguire, the Superintendent of the Year award is less a recognition for her work than it is recognition for the entire school district’s results.
“For me, it’s really about the work we’re doing here in Osseo Area Schools,” Maguire said in an interview Wednesday, when Minnesota Association of School Administrators announced she received the honor. “Nothing happens with any one individual. I really don’t think that for a minute.”
She was among eight other nominees for the 2014 award, according to MASA Executive Director Gary Amoroso.
The final decision was made by education organizations throughout the state, not by MASA members.
“What I think that says is that Kate has been selected by her peers in the field of education, which to me is significant,” Amoroso said.
Consideration for the award required nomination from school district staff. Maguire then had to fill out an application, which required essays that demonstrated success in four areas: leadership, communication, professionalism and community involvement.
To exemplify the entire district’s progress in these areas, Maguire said she wrote about the district’s strategic planning and prioritizing, financial planning, instructional work and intentional relationship building throughout the community.
“It’s about the work staff members are doing throughout the district,” she said.
According to her executive staff, it is Maguire’s leadership that has led to district gains.
“Under her leadership, achievement is climbing; access to college-level coursework has increased; and graduation rates have improved,” a portion of the nomination letter said.
She is only the fourth woman to be named Superintendent of the Year, joining Kay Worner, Carol Johnson and Patty Phillips.
Maguire has also used the honor as an opportunity to highlight that approximately 15 percent of Minnesota superintendents are women.
It’s a difficult job, Maguire said, and there are barriers.
“I think it’s important that women – aspiring superintendents and principals – can see themselves in that role,” she said.
She often talks to aspiring administrators, she said, typically while they are in school, since students are required to make connections with professionals to learn about their work.
Having worked her way to the superintendency after starting as an Osseo junior high school Social Studies teacher 29 years ago, Maguire hopes to motivate and help other women through the typical principal or superintendent track.
“I hope that I’m able to do that, so we can grow leaders in the profession,” she said.
Locally, the state association that named her superintendent of the year, MASA, will fund a local celebration and recognition for the Osseo Area Schools community. The details of that event have not yet been determined.
Contact Paul Groessel at email@example.com