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Superintendent David Law sits behind his desk looking over some paper work. (Photo by Connor Cummiskey)

Anoka-Hennepin’s David Law was recently recognized as the 2020 superintendent of the year.

The Minnesota Association of School Administrators presented the award to Law during an annual conference Oct. 7.

“I was overwhelmed; it was incredible,” Law said. “I’ve known, personally, about eight of the last 10 superintendents of the year, and some of them were my mentors and just people I really looked up to, so it’s an honor even to be listed in the same ranks as they are.”

Law is the first Anoka-Hennepin School District superintendent to receive the award, and he received nominations from five people, according to the district. After nominations, candidates had to go through an extensive application process that included four 1,000-word essays on topics that range from what the district has done for equality to engagement with the public.

Applications were reviewed by members of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators as well as representatives from about half a dozen other education groups, including Education Minnesota and the elementary and secondary principal associations.

Law is starting his 35th year in public education; 26 of those were at Anoka-Hennepin, Law said. This is his sixth year as a superintendent.

In the superintendent role, Law finds it rewarding when he can make the district a place where teachers and staff want to work.

“One of the highlights for me is when people that I supervise or support love what they do and kids benefit,” Law said.

Law said he’s proud of favorable ratings from both staff and the community on the district’s survey. The most recent survey showed 86% of respondents rated the district as good or excellent.

Creating a positive atmosphere is important in a good leader, according to Law.

“It always comes down to how well you treat the people you work with in any role that you work in, in a school system,” he said.

One thing Law said he learned working in public education is that it’s his role to help kids find their own path they can be happy in.

“In the six years here I’ve constantly said, ‘Our job isn’t to say everyone needs to go to a four-year college,’” Law said. “Our is to say, ‘For those kids that want to go to a four-year college, let’s prepare; for those kids that don’t, let’s make sure they have a job where they can pay their bills and love their life.’”

Law currently serves as president on the Minnesota Association of School Administrators executive board, which sets policy and advocacy platforms and runs staff development for school administrators.

After being named the Minnesota superintendent of the year, Law is a candidate for the National Superintendent of the Year Award.

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