Congratulations to Champlin Park High School Principal Mike George for being recognized as one of the 2016-17 Above & Beyond Award winners! Mike has been an active champion of the parent-awareness nights within the Anoka-Hennepin school district to educate on drug and alcohol use among young people.
Read part of the nomination here, including the criteria for selection:
Develops positive relationships with students, families, and/or community.
Mike George’s leadership style is sincere and charismatic, an admirable combination that conveys his genuine care for students, families, teachers, staff and the community at large. At the start of the 2015-2016 school year, another parent and I approached Mike to see if we could host a parent-awareness event to educate about drug and alcohol use.
Demonstrates care and concern for students.
Without hesitation, Mike embraced the idea and helped us approach it from a variety of perspectives including students, families and community.
Within a week, he’d pulled together an initial group of folks within the district who became a dedicated task force. He quickly envisioned more than a single event, but rather a series of events that debuted in 2016.
In every interaction I’ve had, the individuals have the utmost respect and admiration for Mike George and the common sentiment is they recognize how much he cares. And, to make it even better, he has the innate ability to put people at ease – I’ve observed him in interactions with students, faculty, staff, families and community members and everyone is always impressed by his easy-going nature yet decisive, leadership style.
Mike George is the first person to share his “why” for leading the Anoka-Hennepin Schools Drug & Alcohol Awareness program.
He’s not at all shy to explain that addiction has touched his family, and it its this honesty that best conveys how much he cares for students and healthy choices.
Mike knows firsthand the challenges that young people face and the complications that drugs and alcohol present. He’s an advocate for prevention and education, and moreover for helping students and families connect to helpful resources. He calls the school district a family and that means that he cares for each member just as he would his own son or daughter.
Brings together ideas and/or resources and/or people to overcome difficulties or challenges.
Another of Mike’s “above and beyond” strengths is that he is a collaborator and connector. He’s always making new relationships and then bringing the parties together.
He doesn’t see barriers; instead, he sees opportunities. Many administrators would have dismissed parents who wanted to schedule an event let alone something that would address a potentially scary topic such as substance use. Mike, however, say this as being proactive and as a way to enhance the district’s reputation for preparing students for life.
In convening a diverse group of experts as our task force, Mike considers a variety of perspectives, approaches and agendas. He’s able to integrate these into a cohesive message that’s proven invaluable to the community. Event surveys are exceptionally positive about the program, the task force and the content.
Collaborates with outside resources.
In addition to district resources, Mike welcomed “outsiders” from the community to help shape our program and its content. He brought in Allina, Fairview, Know the Truth, Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, Our Young Addicts, Headway, the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force, the school principals from the other high schools and their staff, the district’s Regional Prevention Coordinator, the state’s epidemiologist, and more. As stated above, Mike George is an extraordinary collaborator and I am honored to work alongside him to help families and students.
Rose McKinney aka Midwestern Mama
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