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2022-2023 Minnesota School of Excellence Validations

Four Elementary Schools Validated as 2022-2023 Minnesota Schools of Excellence:

Kasson-Mantorville, Kasson-Mantorville School District, Principal: Ariana Wright
Oak Hills Elementary, Lakeville School District, Principal, Dr. Wade Labatte
Hawthorne Elementary, Albert Lea School District, Principal John Mahal
Sebeka Public School, Sebeka , Sebeka School District, Principal Amie Westberg

“Through the Minnesota School of Excellence (SOE) program, grounded in national research on high-performing schools, MESPA has created the premier opportunity in the state for validating excellence and a commitment to continual growth in a school community,” said Jon Millerhagen, MESPA Executive Director. “This school improvement program examines the entire school community through six national standards, ensuring there is a holistic approach to creating a plan for future achievement and celebrating the unique accomplishments of each School of Excellence.”

Tami Staloch-Schultz, chair of the Minnesota School of Excellence Committee, said, “It takes commitment and teamwork to honestly and thoroughly assess areas of strength and at the same time identify a plan for continual growth. The SOE process asks the entire school community – parents, students, staff, administration, and more – to reflect on and celebrate the collaborative work being done in school communities. Schools that receive validation have had important data-driven conversations about what a high-quality, modern learning experience should be for all students and have plans to make that learning experience a reality for many years to come. Honoring the important work of dedicated staff, eager students, and supportive communities is an essential component of becoming a School of Excellence.”

 Congratulations to our 2022-2023 validated
School of Excellence Principals!

Click below to read individual press releases:


School District

Principal: Ariana Wright

Oak Hills Elementary

Lakeville School District

Principal: Wade Labatte

Hawthorne Elementary

Albert Lea School District

Principal: John Mahal

Sebeka Public School

Sebeka ISD 820

Principal: Amie Westberg

Want to become validated as a School of Excellence?

The Minnesota School of Excellence (SOE) program promotes excellence through a rigorous 1 or 2 year-long, self-directed evaluation process that showcases dynamic schools of the 21st century. The schools earn validation by completing a school community self-study, developing a plan to build on evident strengths & address areas needing improvement, and assessing ongoing results from implementing the plan. SOE also enables to principals to earn CEU's. Learn More

Letter of intent due October 28, 2023 Click Here to Complete Letter of Intent

Application (parts 1 & 2) due June 1, 2023



MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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Roseville, Minnesota, 55113
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