Chris Richardson Receives Minnesota Association of School Administrators Polaris Leadership Award


The Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) has named Chris Richardson, Superintendent for Northfield Public Schools, the recipient of the MASA Polaris Leadership Award. Dr. Richardson will be honored for his exemplary school leadership and a lifetime of balanced achievement inside and outside of education at a statewide recognition ceremony to be held at the 2015 MASA Fall Conference, September 27-29, in Duluth, Minnesota. This award is presented with the support of Ehlers and Associates.

Polaris, the “North Star”, themes this award because, just as exemplary administrators serve as definitive leaders, Polaris is constant and unmoving in the sky. A navigator’s benchmark, the star marks “true north”, the fundamental direction that defines east, west and south. With this award, Dr. Richardson is recognized for qualities such as professional courage, creation of a legacy of excellent leadership, fostering innovation, contribution through example and mentoring, exemplary conduct reflecting integrity and bearing emulation, and significant tenure in each position to support district vision and affect positive change.

In a letter of support for Dr. Richardson’s nomination, Northfield School Board member Noel Stratmoen wrote, “Dr. Richardson is an educational leader with many great strengths including vision, hard work, thoroughness, frugality, and common sense. He is a beacon of light for education at the state level.” Julie Nielsen, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Excellence and Accountability with South Washington County Schools wrote, “The passion and integrity with which Dr. Richardson approaches his job is to be commended. He is one of the hardest working people I know.”

Dr. Richardson has over 38 years of education administration experience, ranging from principal to curriculum director to superintendent, and has been leading Northfield Public Schools since 2004. Dr. Richardson is currently serving as Treasurer on the MASA Board of Directors and is also an active member of the Minnesota Alliance for Student Achievement, Minnesota Council on Economic Education, and Schools for Equity in Education. In 2012, Dr. Richardson was named the Minnesota Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Richardson received his Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Iowa and his masters and bachelor of science degrees from Iowa State University.

Each year, MASA recognizes members for their contribution to public education. MASA is a professional organization of Minnesota’s school leaders whose members include over 900 public education and non-public superintendents, directors of special education, curriculum and technology leaders, other central office administrators, service providers, business partners and retirees.