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Carlton elementary principal receives leadership award

The Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association (MESPA) recognized BJ Berg, principal of South Terrace Elementary in Carlton, with the 2012 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award. The award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs - improving education, their communities and their profession.

Berg was recognized by colleagues statewide on Feb. 2 at the MESPA Awards Banquet - held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington Hotel during the annual MESPA Institute, the statewide convention of Minnesota's elementary and middle level principals.

As principal, Berg said he is guided by the words of Confucius: "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children."

Berg was nominated by Amy Galatz, principal at King Elementary of Deer River Public Schools. On behalf of the Northeast Division principals, Galatz stated: "BJ has been our division president for the past two years. As president, BJ shows great professionalism and leadership. He represents his principal colleagues with integrity."

Among his most significant career accomplishments, Berg includes: creation of the South Terrace Elementary School 40-acre outdoor learning center with accompanying curriculum for the school and community to use; working out of AYP consequences as a building, and since then, watching South Terrace scores improve year after year; and being selected by his peers as local teacher of the year.

Past honors and recognition received by Berg include: Minnesota Science and Math Principal of the Year, 2009; Independent School District 93 Teacher of the Year, 2003; and Minnesota State High School Coaches Association, Assistant Coach of the Year, 1996-97. He has been elected and represented his northeast principal colleagues as MESPA division president (2010-12) and president-elect (2008-10).

MESPA members selected 12 of their peers to receive the 2012 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award.

"Leadership is an elusive concept," said P. Fred Storti, MESPA executive director. "Is leadership an art or a science? Should we evaluate the leader's personal qualities? Or should we evaluate what the leader accomplishes, regardless of personality or leadership style? Successful principals serve their school and community. These men and women are leaders in our profession and truly represent the very best in Minnesota public schools."