MREA honors individuals whose efforts are enhancing education in Greater Minnesota with its annual Distinguished Service Award.
2015 Honoree: Dr. Tom Melcher, Director of Finance at MDE
Dr. Tom Melcher brings important data and analysis to the issues to help illuminate needs and drive change in education policy in Minnesota. Melcher has dedicated his professional career to high-quality service in financial formulas and reporting, along with equity in funding for students across Minnesota. He is the Director of the Program Finance Division at the Minnesota Department of Education. He came to Minnesota from Florida in 1979, where he earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Florida.
2014: Senator Rod Skoe, Clearwater
MREA honored Senator Rod Skoe of Clearbrook with the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for his leadership on expanding education opportunity and equalizing school funding for Greater Minnesota schools through a new program called Local Optional Revenue.
2013: Representative Kathy Brynaert, Mankato and Senator Kevin Dahle, Northfield
Representative Brynaert was the Chief Author in 2013 of HF 1337 to repeal the GRAD Rule and to substitute a series of assessments for the state’s reading, math, and writing GRAD tests so all students will have sufficient knowledge and skills in core academic subjects to graduate from high school and succeed in a career or college without remediation. This is one of the most significant policy changes in Minnesota K-12 education in over a decade.
Senator Dahle was the Chief Author in 2013 of SF 1103, companion bill to HF 1337 to repeal the GRAD Rule and substitute a series of assessments for the state’s reading, math, and writing GRAD tests so all students would have sufficient knowledge and skills in core academic subjects to graduate from high school and succeed in a career or college without remediation. As called for in the 2013 MREA Platform, this moves “Minnesota to a system of assessments that look forward to where a student is going, is efficient in the use of students’ time and system resources.”
2012: Rynell Schock
A respected educational leader in Central Minnesota, Rynell Schock has been dedicated to improving literacy instruction in local classrooms through research-based best practices and high quality professional development.
As an education specialist at National Joint Power Alliance, Rynell provides leadership in instruction, assessment, curriculum, and student achievement impacting over 250 teachers. She has developed a series of new programs, including Summer Institute, Marzano Leadership Academy, mentorship program for beginning and non-tenured teachers and professional Leadership Communities.