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Minnesota Principals Hire New Executive Director
2/3/2013 9:57 AM

MN Elementary School Principals' Association selected Jon Millerhagen to lead elementary and middle level principals statewide

(St. Paul, MN – Feb. 7, 2013)
– Jon Millerhagen, principal of Washburn Elementary School in the Bloomington Public Schools, is the next executive director of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA). The MESPA Board of Director’s approved Millerhagen’s contract on Tuesday, February 6, and he assumes leadership July 1, 2013. His selection is the result of a search process begun in September, led by a transition team chaired by MESPA President Kristine Stueve and with interviews conducted by a statewide panel including leaders from all 12 MESPA divisions.

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

P. Fred Storti, the current MESPA Executive Director, announced his intention to retire from the association last September, at the end of the association’s current fiscal year: June 30, 2013.  This was sad news to the association. Storti worked as a principal for 27 years and served as MESPA executive director since 2002. In his broad stewardship of the principalship, Storti: initiated the MN Principals’ Academy concept, expanded the association’s education collaborations, led Minnesota principals in developing a Principal Evaluation model, and strongly promoted preK-grade 3 alignment.  In addition, he provided strong leadership for other association directors across the country as chair of the National Association of Elementary School Principals Executive Directors.

Looking ahead to taking the MESPA reins, Millerhagen stated: “I will do my best to serve, promote, and uplift Minnesota elementary and middle level principals with skillful leadership. Through improving and enriching the quality of each member’s career, I also will achieve my personal goal to ultimately benefit the lives of more children. In taking the best care of our leaders, we give them the opportunity to focus on what is truly important.”

He continued: “I believe I have the vision, the experience, and the desire to enthusiastically lead the organization that has shaped my career in countless ways.”

Millerhagen has been a principal since 1993. Prior to the principalship, he taught fifth grade for three years in Luverne, MN and 13 years in Forest Lake, MN. With students at the center of his career choices, he went on to finish his Masters and Education Specialist degrees. He served as principal for three years in Austin, MN and the past 16 in Bloomington, MN. His experience in both rural and metro settings gives him the broad perspective required to meet the needs of all MESPA members.

His active service to MESPA began as a representative to the association’s Legislative Resolution and EPAC committees. He served as a MESPA division president, and chaired the Minnesota School of Excellence committee. He was elected president of the association, serving statewide as MESPA president-elect 2007-2009, and then president 2009-2011.

His education honors and recognition include leading Washburn Elementary (Bloomington) through Minnesota School of Excellence validation twice. He received the MESPA Division Leadership Achievement award in 2005. He has testified on education issues, often on his experience in creating early childhood education that effectively increase student achievement, at the state Legislature and on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

Millerhagen will be the fourth MESPA Executive Director, following: P. Fred Storti, 2002-2013; Elmer A. Koch, 1991-2002; Robert F. Arnold, 1971-1991. Before 1971, the association functioned without a permanent staff.

Jon Millerhagen


Jon Millerhagen
Executive Director