|Joan Maland, West Suburban Division|
|Joan Maland, principal at Indian Mounds Elementary, Bloomington School District|
In her principalship, Maland
follows the philosophy of Dr. Haim Ginott, author of Teacher and Child: “It is my personal approach that creates the
climate. It is my daily mood that
makes the weather…I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable
or joyous. I can be a tool of
torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a
crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
In nominating Maland for this
honor, Gail Lewis-Miller (principal, Hopkins) stated: “Joan Maland is well
respected among her peers for her honesty, integrity, and positive work ethic.
Joan has been the principal of Indian Mounds Elementary for the past five years
and has provided strong leadership to her staff. The student population has changed dramatically over the
last several years at the school and the staff recognized they needed
additional staff development to address the needs of their diverse learners.
Joan jumped at the opportunity to lead her staff through a book study of How to Teach Children Who Don’t Look Like
You. Her love of designing and leading staff development is evident in her
role as adjunct instructor at Hamline University.”
Maland is dedicated to the
improvement of education both in her school and in the greater Minnesota
education community. One of the
most significant accomplishments in her career centers around her commitment to
nurturing quality student teachers. For the past 14 years, she has taught the Exceptionally course in the education
department at Hamline University.
Long ago recognizing that not all student teachers have the required
skills to identify or teach students with special needs, Maland lobbied for the
Exceptionally course and then was
given the opportunity to design and teach it.
Speaking about this special
teaching experience, Maland said, “Over the years it has been my pleasure to
work with hundreds of both undergraduate and graduate students. Teaching at
Hamline allows me the opportunity to impress upon pre-service teachers how
important they are in the life of their students; how challenging and how
rewarding the teaching profession can be.”
Maland was asked to participate in
the redesign of the teacher evaluation process by the Bloomington school
district and the Bloomington Federation of Teachers. Team work, respect, trust
and open communication were all components of the arduous task encompassing
many meetings that produced multiple editions over a two-year period. The finished product was well received
by all parties and is another significant accomplishment of her education
Two years ago, the staff at Indian
Mounds willingly took on the challenge to complete and submit the application
for the Minnesota School of Excellence
program, a school improvement process recognized
by the Minnesota Department of Education that involves a systematic program of
self-study, development of a school improvement plan, and implementation of the
plan based on demonstrated results. It became the primary initiative for
the school year. The Indian Mounds
team designed a process to work through the project in one year, guided by the
question, “What is best for students?” At the end of the process, everyone had
a much greater appreciation of the “big picture.” Another accomplishment of Maland’s career, the school was
validated as a 2008-09 MESPA Minnesota School of Excellence. Working to achieve the validation, the
school community was able to celebrate the success together.
Maland has held the following
leadership positions within MESPA:
2009-10 President-Elect of West Suburban division, 2008-09 President of
West Suburban division, and 2007-08 President-Elect of West Suburban Division. Her 10 years in administration include
the role of principal, assistant principal, and intern.
MESPA members selected 12
of their peers to receive the 2010 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award;
Maland was recommended by Gail Lewis-Miller, principal at L.H. Tanglen
Elementary School in the Hopkins school district and then nominated by her West
Suburban division colleagues.