Kay Nelson
Assistant Superintendent
Sartell-St. Stephen Schools

MASA has named Kay Nelson, Assistant Superintendent of Sartell-St. Stephen Schools, the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Central Office Leader Award. She received this award for exhibiting a willingness to risk, possessing strong communications skills, being a progressive change agent, and having high expectations for herself and others. Nelson was honored for her leadership, concern for students, and active involvement in professional and community affairs at a statewide recognition ceremony during the MASA/MASE Spring Conference held March 10-11, 2022.

“Kay is a leader not only in Sartell-St. Stephen Schools, but she is a leader across central Minnesota and beyond,” said Kyle Breitkreutz, Director of Technology of Sartell-St. Stephen Schools, in his letter of support. “Her involvement within the district and with MASA are clear examples of her dedication to help others in education through mentoring and leading by example. Kay’s professional leadership, inspiring commitment to education, and courageous personality make her a perfect recipient for this award.”

Nelson has served for 30 years at Sartell-St. Stephen Schools. She began as a vocal and classroom instructor and then Director of Learning Services. Nelson has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Sartell-St. Stephen Schools since 2013. She began her education career as a vocal teacher with Upsala Area Schools.

Nelson has been a foundational leader in continually moving curriculum content for arts and technology at all grade levels at Sartell-St. Stephen Schools. The results of her efforts are evident in the growing student and community popularity for the development of the district’s orchestra program, coding opportunities, and the improvement of facilities for music and theater programs. Nelson also led the district in the required changes in content standards to align with the World’s Best Workforce development.

Nelson is an active member of MASA serving on the MASA Board of Directors. She was a member of MASA’s Aspiring Superintendent’s Academy. Nelson’s professional involvement include Association for Curriculum Development, Society for Women in Leadership, Region VI Curriculum Coordinator’s Network, and the Metro Area Curriculum Leaders Network. She also serves in various capacities with the St. Cloud Area Partner for Student Success/United Way.

Nelson earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Cloud State University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Southwest State University. She received her Educational Administration Licensure from St. Mary’s University.

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