patrick smithPatrick Smith, principal at Basswood Elementary, is the recipient of the 2017 Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) Division Leadership Achievement Award.

This award honors principals whose exemplary leadership has allowed them to make positive contributions to effective school learning programs—ultimately improving education, their communities and their profession.

Smith, who has been principal at Basswood Elementary since 2012, said his ability to make a positive impact at school is a result of his educational philosophy.

“I have used ‘Dream Big’ as a motivation for staff and students for many years,” he said. “I believe this challenges every student and adult to work hard and do their best. More importantly, it’s a message of believing in yourself and knowing there is no dream that’s too big. Everyone can accomplish great things.”

During his time at Basswood, Smith has championed opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and make a difference in the world, including Fuel Up to Play 60, Basswood Ambassadors and Basswood Gives Back.

As the North Suburban Division winner, Smith is one of 12 elementary principals from Minnesota to receive the MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award this year. Winners were selected by their MESPA peers.

“MESPA members who receive the Division Leadership Achievement Award are the heart and soul of their schools, their communities and our association,” said Jon Millerhagen, MESPA executive director. “They are true leaders who empower their schools to be successful. Our association benefits greatly from their wisdom, energy, expertise and commitment.”

WATCH: CCX News interview with Principal Patrick Smith