Osseo School Board Chair Dean Henke has been named to the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) 2017 All State School Board, the organization’s most prestigious annual honor.
As one of seven All State School Board honorees this year, Henke is only the fourth board member in Osseo Area Schools history to receive this recognition.
Henke has served the students and families of Osseo Area Schools as a board member for 13 years, including five years as board chairperson. Additionally, he has served as a board director for Intermediate District 287—a consortium of 12 Minnesota school districts—and has been active in both state and national school board trainings, events and leadership.
In her nomination of Henke, Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Kate Maguire wrote of his steadfast dedication to organizational improvement.
“Over the past 13 years, Dean’s leadership has influenced the development and implementation of our organization’s mission, core values, goals, and strategic direction; emphasis on racial equity; improved systems of accountability and continuous improvement; and transformational system change to improve academic achievement through programming,” Maguire said.
Henke said receiving the All State School Board honor is special because of the board members, district administrators and school staff he has worked with during his tenure.
“For me, this award is a reflection of all the relationships I’ve built and the people I’ve worked with,” Henke added. “I’m one of six board members, and we have to work as a group to get things accomplished. I’m honored that Superintendent Maguire, my fellow board members and the MSBA nominating committee would consider me for this award.”
Since 1971, MSBA has selected up to seven individual board members annually to the All State School Board. Winners are chosen for their outstanding contributions to public education in areas such as leadership, visionary thinking, and demonstrating concern for students, staff and taxpayers.
“The All State School Board represents the highest example of board service,” said Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA executive director. “These are school board members who are committed to student achievement, determined to build support for their local schools, and [who are] unwavering in their pursuit of what’s best for students.”
Henke and the other 2017 All State School Board winners will be honored at MSBA’s annual Leadership Conference on Jan. 12 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
A fixture on the Osseo School Board for more than a decade, Henke will retire from the board in January and said that decision still brings him mixed emotions.
“When you weave something like this into your life for 13 years, it becomes a piece of who you are,” he said. “I’ll miss the people I worked with. Every opportunity I’ve had to hear a different person speak or be exposed to a different perspective allowed me to make better informed decisions.”
Henke said he will also miss developing and influencing districtwide policy—such as the strategic plan, mission statement, and racial equity work—as well as being involved in commencement ceremonies every spring, something he called the highlight of each year as a board member.
“It’s been an honor to serve students, families and the school district,” Henke said. “For the people of these communities to have entrusted me with helping lead Osseo Area Schools is a very big honor, and I’m very appreciative.”