MASA has named David Law, Superintendent of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the 2020 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year. As the Minnesota honoree, Law is a candidate among other state recipients for National Superintendent of the Year, to be announced during the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Conference on Education, February 13–15, 2020 in San Diego, CA. Law was selected for this honor by a panel of representatives from a variety of Minnesota education organizations. Nominees are evaluated on how each candidate demonstrates leadership for learning, communication skills, professionalism, and community involvement.
“The work David is doing within his district and community has elevated him to become a leader across the state,” said MASA Executive Director Dr. Gary Amoroso. “David is the embodiment of this award and we are very proud to have him represent our administrators as Minnesota’s Superintendent of the Year.”
At the start of his tenure as Superintendent of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Law developed and implemented a unique continuous improvement plan that includes measures for preschool students, elementary, middle and high school math and reading proficiency measures, measures for academic growth, attendance, student discipline, and graduation. The scorecard also includes measures for participation in post-secondary coursework, participation in co-curricular activities, student engagement, staff engagement, parent satisfaction, and employee evaluation. Law’s effective efforts on this continuous improvement plan have resulted in frequent local and national presentations.
Anoka-Hennepin is one of only 10 districts in the state to show increases in reading proficiency as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments for more than five consecutive years. In addition, more than 50% of Anoka-Hennepin schools are in the top quartile of performance compared to their statewide peer schools in the areas of math and science and nearly 50% are in the top quartile for reading proficiency. Even though Anoka-Hennepin’s demographics closely resemble the state’s demographics, all student groups of color and special populations at the district level outperform their statewide counterparts in math, reading and science, paired with the fact that the gaps in proficiency rates between these student groups and their comparison groups in the district are significantly less than the same comparison gaps at the state level, across student groups and subjects. As the district’s demographics continue to increase in diversity, their performance indicators also continue to increase, which is a testament to Law’s leadership.
Under David’s leadership, the Anoka-Hennepin School District successfully passed a $249 million bond referendum, one of the largest referendums in state history, creating safe and secure learning environments and allowing school construction in areas of growing student population. The referendum also provided solutions for maintaining quality schools by improving science labs, media centers, and flexible learning areas throughout the district and addressed class sizes at all levels.
An important aspect of continuous improvement and student achievement has been a partnership between the Anoka-Hennepin School District and the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center to conduct an Equity Context Analysis Process (ECAP) to create an Equity Achievement Plan. With Superintendent Law’s guidance, the ECAP provided an in-depth study of systemic variables contributing to equity in the school district.
Law began his career as a middle school math teacher in the Murrieta Valley School District in Murrieta, California. He returned to Minnesota and taught at Coon Rapids High School. He later served as a Dean of Students in the Mounds View Public Schools and as a Middle School Principal and Assistant Superintendent in the White Bear Lake Area Schools before returning to Anoka-Hennepin as Superintendent in 2014.
Law is an active member in both MASA and AASA. He has served on the MASA Board of Directors since 2015, and is currently MASA President for 2019-20. He is also a board member of the following community organizations: YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, American Heart Association Twin Cities, Anoka Hennepin Community College Community Advisory Board, Metro North Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative.
Law earned a Juris Doctor degree from the William Mitchell College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Hamline University. He received his K-12 Principal and Superintendent License from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Superintendent of the Year Award is sponsored by ATS&R, Planners/Architects/Engineers. Visit their web site at www.atsr.com.
For more information on the AASA Superintendent of the Year Program, please visit www.aasa.org.