Board Chair: Dr. Ric Dressen
Ric Dressen has been superintendent of Edina Public Schools in Edina, Minnesota – a first-ring, upper middle class, professional suburb on the southwest edge of Minneapolis – since July 2006. Prior to this position and beginning in January 2000, he served as superintendent of Alexandria Public Schools in Alexandria, Minnesota; from 1992 through 1999, he served as superintendent of Waconia Public Schools in Waconia, Minnesota. His administrative career includes principalships in Waconia, Brooklyn Center, and St. Joseph, Minnesota.
Dr. Dressen graduated from Bemidji State University, and began his educational career teaching in Annandale, Minnesota. He received his master’s and specialist degrees from St. CloudStateUniversity, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Dressen is an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
In 2013, the Minnesota Association of School Administrators awarded him their Polaris Leadership Award for his service to the educational leadership of Minnesota. He was president of the Association in 2003-04. He is currently on the Board of Governors to the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, the Fairview Southdale Hospital Board of Directors, the Edina Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a member of Edina Morningside Rotary.
Dr. Dressen, a native of Minnesota, and his wife, Kerry, live in Edina. They have two children, Ann (married) and Jack (graduate school).
Board Vice Chair: Dr. Karen Orcutt
Karen Orcutt has been superintendent of Orono Schools since July 2005. Prior to superintendent she served as assistant superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction and special services director. Orcutt graduated from the University of Minnesota in Communication Disorders and obtained a masters degree in speech pathology and audio logy. She began her career as a Speech Language Pathologist in both school and hospital settings. She pursued further study in educational leadership and completed a doctoral degree in 2000. Orcutt has taught university courses in educational leadership and curriculum. She has a range of experience in workshops on educational leadership and resiliency.
In 2008 Orcutt was the recipient of the Richard Green Scholars award for her past and current research in the characteristics of resiliency in educational leadership. Karen is passionate about qualitative research in educational leadership and continues her study of leadership capacities. She is a part of the superintendent institute for further engagement and commitment to research in the field of educational leadership.
Director: Dr. Sue Ann Gruver
Dr. Sue Ann Gruver has been the Superintendent of Schools for Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools since 2008. Originally from Indiana, she is a graduate of St. Mary’s College, and received her Master’s and Doctor of Education degrees at St. Thomas University.
Dr. Gruver came to Minnesota after teaching in South Bend, Ind., for two years. After a 10-year break to raise her three sons and daughter, she worked as a teacher, librarian, reading resource teacher and elementary principal in the metro area. Prior to becoming the Superintendent of PLSAS, Dr. Gruver was the Assistant Superintendent of Mahtomedi Public Schools.
Dr. Gruver resides in Prior Lake with her husband, Jim. She is “Nana” to 12 grandchildren. In her free time, she and Jim enjoy visiting their children and grandchildren in Minnetonka, South Africa and Australia. Dr. Gruver is also a member of the Prior Lake Rotary Club, and a founding member and Board Member of the River Valley YMCA since its opening in 2009.
Director: Dr. John Schultz
John Schultz has served as Superintendent of Hopkins Public Schools since 2006. John spent the first 13 years of his career teaching junior high science. During this time he also had opportunities to teach students with special needs and adjudicated youth. In 1999, John entered school leadership, and served as the associate principal of Eden Prairie High School, as well as Director of Teaching and Learning for the Hopkins Public Schools.
John is passionate about providing children a dynamic and engaging school experience. As Superintendent, he is committed to engaging the diverse Hopkins community in the education of its citizens and developing a culture of innovation for all students and staff within the system. John works closely with his leadership team to build efficiencies in the school system so that resources can be maximized for student learning.
John holds a Bachelors degree from Augsburg College (Minneapolis, Minnesota), a Masters degree in Soil, Water, and Climate Science (St. Paul, Minnesota), and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Minneapolis, Minnesota).
Director: Dr. Jay Haugen
Jay Haugen is in his 18th year as a MN superintendent, and his third for the Farmington Area School District, a growing district of 7000 students in southern Dakota County. Prior to this, he was Superintendent of Schools in West St. Paul, Mendota Heights and Eagan Area Schools, as well as in Sleepy Eye, MN. Haugen is currently President of MASA, having also served as co-chair of the Federal Advocacy committee and was named a Green Scholar.
Haugen began his career as a high school science teacher, eventually moving on to pursue graduate studies while providing pioneering work in the development educational software. He returned in an administrative capacity serving a consortium of seven southwestern Minnesota school districts near Redwood Falls, MN as director of curriculum and staff development, also developing an on-line interactive learning program between all member schools. He Nextel served as a regional coordinator for Minnesota Department of Education’s MEEP Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from North Dakota State University and a Masters of Science in Education and a Sixth Year Credential in Educational Administration from Tri-College University, a collaboration of North Dakota State University, Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead.
Board Member: Dennis Cheesebrow
Dennis is a highly respected coach and consultant to Superintendents, Boards of Education, public officials, CEOs and Executive Directors across the United States with over 15 years of experience in creating deep insight, organizational alignment and action with accountability for his clients.
His broad experience in business, education, management, marketing, product development, continuous improvement, and systems change is balanced with a low-ego interpersonal style, humor, and creativity. This unique style of coaching has led to a consistent record of successful growth, transition and leadership development for executives across an incredible breadth of education, for-profit, non-profit, government and religious institutions.
Dennis is passionate about developing a leader’s capacity and competency to guide organizations through effective leadership, partnership and stewardship. His commitment to The Superintendency Institute is grounded in a deep desire to give back to the arena of public leadership and contribute to the practice of partnership and abundance-based leadership.