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Bruininks receives "Champion for Children" award from Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association

February 17, 2011

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks was honored last week by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) with their “Champion for Children” award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding leadership in support of children and education. Past recipients include: U.S. Senators Paul Wellstone and Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, and Elmer Koch.

“I know Dr. Bruininks through his leadership on the Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership, and have appreciated his commitment to the ‘P’ part of that work - early childhood education - where he has been instrumental in developing policy with the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation,” said MESPA Executive Director P. Fred Storti. “We have been so fortunate to have our university president come from a rich education background and support our work as instructional leaders. His work around early childhood education and literacy is unprecedented for a university president.”

Bruininks’s academic career has centered on child and adolescent development and policy research, and strategic improvement in the fields of pre-kindergarten to grade 12 and higher education. A professor of educational psychology, he has authored or coauthored nearly 90 journal articles and more than 70 book chapters, as well as training materials and several standardized tests. He was named the 15th president of the University of Minnesota in 2002 and has served at the U for more than 40 years, previously as a professor, dean and provost. Bruininks leaves the presidency in June of 2011 and will return to the faculty, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

MESPA is the professional association of Minnesota’s elementary and middle-level principals. With the vision to “be the premiere resource for preparing today’s principals for tomorrow and a strong leading voice for public education” and a statewide membership over 950 principals, MESPA has represented Minnesota’s principals since 1950. MESPA is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 29,500 members nationwide.

President Robert Bruininks

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