Beth Ness webElm Creek Elementary Principal Beth Ness was recognized on Feb. 6 with a 2020 Division Leadership Achievement Award by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA). Representing the North Suburban Division, Ness is one of 13 elementary school principals statewide to receive this honor this year.

MESPA’s Division Leadership Achievement 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.

“MESPA members who receive the Division Leadership Achievement Award are the strong foundations of their schools, their communities, and our association,” said Jon Millerhagen, MESPA executive director. “They are transformational leaders who care deeply for their students.”

Ness, who has participated in the Institute for Courageous Principal Leadership and several other development opportunities, says she values lifelong learning in her role.

“One of my most significant accomplishments is continuing to grow and learn as an educator,” she noted. “I want the last year of my work in education to be my best, and this means I must keep learning.”

Ness is the third District 279 principal to receive this award in the past four years; Patrick Smith (former principal at Basswood Elementary) won the award in 2017 and Aaron Krueger (Edinbrook Elementary) took home top honors in 2018.