Elstad = Excellence
It is an honor to be nominated for MASA president-elect. If selected, I will bring a unique perspective. My career began in an early childhood special education classroom as an educational speech-language pathologist in Benson. I have served as the director of special services in New Prague, as an assistant principal at Owatonna High School and as principal at Willow Creek Middle School in Rochester. I was superintendent in Byron for five years and am now the superintendent in Owatonna. These experiences have assisted me in developing a unique understanding of the public education system in Minnesota. Though challenging at times, I believe I can represent and advocate for the entire MASA membership.
I am on the MASA Board of Directors and have chaired the MASA Executive Development Committee. I have been a coach for the MASA Aspiring Superintendents Academy and received my National Superintendent Certification from AASA in 2017.
I believe it is much more important to know what I stand for as a proud public educator and administrator rather than explain to you what I would intend to do if elected. My priority has been and will always be creating and maintaining relationships. In Owatonna, this is identified as one of our core values. Focusing on relationships builds trust and capacity in those we serve. I will build on the positive relationships I have developed through MASA and continue to advocate for our students regardless of their zip code.
Secondly, I believe strongly in lifelong learning. As the chair of the MASA Executive Development Committee, we were able to provide each region with the opportunity for additional funding to support continuous learning opportunities for all of our component groups. Whether you serve in a rural or metro district, we all have much to learn from each other as education evolves and changes.
We must be champions of change. One of my favorite movies is “The Shawshank Redemption.” In this film, Morgan Freeman delivers the line, “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.” These words inspire me to be steadfast in advocating for the staff, students, and communities we serve. It is through collaboration, communication, and perseverance that we inform and engage our public and best support our students and staff.
I am proud to be a superintendent and am grateful for the support, friendship, and collegiality that MASA has provided and will continue to provide for me in the future. In closing know that if chosen by you, the membership, I will work tirelessly in promoting our mission to provide a world-class education for EVERY learner. I humbly ask for your vote.
Jeffrey S. Elstad
Superintendent, Owatonna Public Schools