MADISON, WI — The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators has named Monona Grove School District Superintendent Dr. Daniel W. Olson the Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year.
After more than 30 years in education and over a decade in school and district administration, Dr. Olson sees himself first and foremost as an educator. He is being recognized for his leadership in the district’s initiatives on equity, institutional practices, mental health and wellbeing, and engagement—among others.
Over the last several years, public schools and their leaders have faced enormous challenges. Despite all the difficulties, Dr. Olson leads with compassion, empathy, and humanity. He encourages staff to focus on moments of joy and positive experiences, and emphasizes that the growth students achieve and the connections built in classrooms and beyond are reflections of the work teachers and staff do. He has established the Monona Grove School District as a place where the floors and walls are not what make the schools vibrant—it is the people, the sense of belonging, and the community created and built together.
“I am grateful and proud to work alongside the dedicated members of Team MG. This award is a recognition of the work done by each and every member of our staff,” Dr. Olson said. “Our teachers and staff, our students and families, and our community are dedicated, hard working, and supportive. It is a privilege to serve as superintendent of Monona Grove.”
WASDA will present the 2023 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year award to Olson at the joint WASB/WASDA/WASBO Convention in Milwaukee in January 2023.
Dr. Olson is in his 10th year as the superintendent of the Monona Grove School District. He previously served for eight years as the superintendent of the Campbellsport School District, and for five years as a high school principal in the Campbellsport and Northern Ozaukee school districts. His career as an educator includes 13 years as a high school math teacher and coach in Wausau, Hortonville, and Northern Ozaukee.
A graduate of Belleville High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Olson received a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University-Wisconsin, a superintendent’s licensure at Marquette University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Edgewood College.
“It is an honor and a privilege to present the Superintendent of the Year Award to Dr. Olson, an outstanding school district leader who has made a big impact on the Monona Grove community,” said Jon Bales, executive director of WASDA. “Throughout his career in education, Dan’s focus has been on ensuring all students have the resources and opportunities to succeed. This award is a reflection of the amazing things he has done for the students, staff, and families of his school district.”
Since its inception, WASDA’s Superintendent of the Year program has become widely acknowledged as the most prestigious honor a Wisconsin school system leader can receive. Criteria include successfully meeting the needs of students, personal and organizational communication, professionalism, participation in local community activities, and an understanding of regional, national, and international issues.