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Wadena superintendent receives award

WADENA — Virginia Dahlstrom, superintendent for the Wadena-Deer Creek Schools, has been named the Kay E. Jacobs Memorial Award recipient by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. 

The award recognizes excellent leadership and involvement provided to MASA and other educational organizations by an administrator with five or less years of administrative experience. 

Dahlstrom will be honored for her leadership, concern for students and active involvement in professional and community affairs at a statewide recognition ceremony at the MASA/MASE Spring Conference, March 17-18, at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.

Dahlstrom said her career goal is to be the best superintendent, wherever she is, for the district she is leading. Dahlstrom is committed to supporting the school board to develop a clear and doable vision to guide them in their decision making, based on student needs, the culture of the community and the current financial situation. 

Dahlstrom’s professional affiliations include membership in the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Advancement of International Education. She is a member of the Lions International, Rotary Club, the Wadena Chamber of Commerce and the Phi Delta Kappa Association for Educators. Dr. Dahlstrom has received the Wadena Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award as well as the Phi Delta Kappa Statewide Leadership Award. 

When asked what she considers her most significant contribution to her community and profession, Dahlstrom responded, “A combination of rebuilding trust, communication, and collaboration within the education community and with community members at large.” 

She went on to explain the community connection has been the key to success in moving this school community forward, both financially and with program commitment. Through this collaboration of school and community, Dahlstrom passed two referendums last year.  Dahlstrom continued, “With this collaborative effort of school and community, students, administrators, parents, support staff, faculty and community members have been able to pull together and rebound from the E4 tornado that devastated our education community in June.”

Dahlstrom holds a bachelor’s of art degree in education from University of Wisconsin, River Falls, a master’s degree in public health from Minnesota State University, Mankato and both K-12 principal and superintendent licensures, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota . 

The Memorial Award was established in 1983 in honor of Kay E. Jacobs, an outstanding young administrator of many achievements who died in a car accident in 1979. 

MASA is a professional organization of Minnesota’s school leaders, including superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors of special education and other central office administrators, as well as state department administrators, college and university professors, and other educators throughout Minnesota dedicated to educational leadership.