RiesgrafThe Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) has named Dr. Kim Riesgraf, assistant superintendent at Osseo Area Schools, as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Central Office Leader Award. Riesgraf will be honored for exhibiting a willingness to take risks, possessing strong communications skills, being a progressive change agent, and having high expectations for self and others.

Riesgraf has demonstrated a keen ability to visualize long-term goals for Osseo Area Schools, which includes:

  • Leading a design team that developed a long-range financial planning framework and model that aligns financial resources with strategic priorities.
  • Facilitating strategic priority teams that developed a collaborative decision-making framework and a plan to increase access to full-day kindergarten and preschool.
  • Leading the development of performance appraisal systems for all management personnel and overseeing the creation of facilities standards used to design a 10-year capital improvement plan.
  • Leading the school district’s comprehensive project management process to change grade spans to PreK-5, 6-8, 9-12, including designing a new middle school model and new construction and renovations at the district’s three comprehensive high schools.

Riesgraf is an effective communicator with proven skills in collaboration with community stakeholders. While representing Osseo Area Schools in several interagency partnerships, Riesgraf was able to identify stakeholder interests and move toward solutions that addressed those interests. Evidence of these skills includes the successful opening of the Northwest Hennepin Family Services Center through a partnership with Hennepin County, Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) and Osseo Area Schools. The Family Services Center is Hennepin County’s first regional service center housing County services, CEAP, and the Adult Basic Education Program and enrollment center for Osseo Area Schools. This project required work with state administrative offices related to the $2 million capital bond received by the school district; legal representation from all three entities; the City of Brooklyn Center; community stakeholders; business contributors; and representatives from the county, CEAP, and the school district.

“Dr. Riesgraf, quite simply, is an outstanding educational leader who engenders trust and who has made significant contributions to our school system,” wrote Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire in her letter of nomination. “Kim has demonstrated a deep understanding of content and context, an authentic commitment to her own learning, high quality verbal and written communication skills, focused leadership, and collaborative problem solving.”

Riesgraf has served Osseo Area Schools for 28 years as a teacher, principal, special education director, student services director, and currently as assistant superintendent of administration. She holds a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Riesgraf is an active member of MASA. She has completed two terms on the MASA board, the first term as the Metro Special Education Component Representative (2008-2011) and the second term as the Metro Central Office Component Representative (2012-2015). Riesgraf has participated in the development of the MASA legislative platform and MASA strategic planning, and has presented at MASA conferences. In addition, she served on the Minnesota Administrators of Special Education (MASE) Board during 2008-2011.

Each year, MASA recognizes members for their contribution to public education. 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 for students.

Riesgraf will be honored at a statewide recognition ceremony at the MASA/MASE Spring Conference, March 10-11, 2016, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park.

Riesgraf is the fourth district employee to be recognized with a state level award in 2016. Others include: Bill Beckman, 2016 Minnesota Council for the Social Studies Middle School Teacher of the Year; Margo Kleven, 2016 Minnesota’s National Outstanding Assistant Principal by Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association; and Becky Hespen, 2016 Minnesota Education Support Professional of the Year by Education Minnesota.