Dave Steckler for Vice President 2020

Dave Steckler

Candidate for 2020 Vice President

Principal of Red Trail Elementary School in Mandan, North Dakota

Everyone Has A Story: Honoring Our Stories with Integrity to Shape Our Future

As school leaders our mission should always be ”kids first”. Each day we are challenged with shaping a vision of academic success for all students, creating and maintaining a healthy school climate, cultivating leadership in others, improving instruction and managing people, data and processes. 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”. (Maya) Every day, I reflect on this quote and it provides a reminder of the many unknown  individual stories in the lives of our colleagues, friends, teachers and students. As I reflect on my personal story and share my journey, four words power my life and work each day; communication, purpose, passion and pride. Communication builds relationships and success. Purpose drives me to stay determined and focused on my goals. My passion provides the fuel to accomplish my purpose; and finally, I take pride in doing my job to the fullest with no regrets.  

My stories, both personal and professional, have included challenges and successes and my active involvement in state and national membership provided many rewarding and beneficial experiences, successfully guiding me through those challenges and successes. Locally, my experiences include important time on our state ESSA Committee, along with numerous other leadership and representative opportunities as an advocate for North Dakota administrators. My state involvement began with 13 years on the NDAESP Board where I served as Secretary/Treasurer, President and NAESP State Representative. At the national level, I served on several NAESP committees including the Membership Committee and most recently completed my 3-year term as Zone 7 Director.  I have been fortunate and honored to serve our state of North Dakota in many leadership capacities, as well as, having the opportunity to serve on the NAESP Board of Directors.

I am committed to NAESP and education. I realize there are many educational topics important to all of us who serve children. My primary purpose will be to lead with my voice at the national level for all of you. I am not afraid to take risks for the betterment of principal, students and education. I will speak truth to power, and question controversial issues, ideas and topics to deepen discussions. I will do this to find better solutions, rather than assigning blame.   

I want to promote international school leadership and offer these 10 important leadership characteristics for effective leadership and schools. 1. Lead with honesty and integrity; 2. Lead with trust and empowerment; 3. Lead with communication, collaboration and connectivity; 4. Lead with positive energy; 5. Lead with confidence; 6. Lead with commitment and persistence; 7. Lead with the willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn; 8. Lead with creativity and innovation; 9. Lead with intuition; 10. Lead by inspiring.

I believe in NAESP and its opportunities for our leaders. My entire educational career has revolved around serving children and learning and leading with colleagues.  I am here today because of the opportunities through NAESP and my relationships with colleagues in North Dakota and across this nation.  

NAESP continues to offer learning opportunities for growth through professional development, mentoring, and leadership. As an organization that serves principals, we must continue to provide support and services that are relevant to the issues we face each day. The stories I hear and learn about will be the evidence and feedback I will use to inform our national platform to promote meaningful growth and common-sense change in our schools.   

I am confident that I can meet your expectations as Vice President of NAESP.  I will take your stories to those that need to hear them. I would be honored with the opportunity to support our national leaders and help establish a community of learners throughout our nation. It is with excitement, energy, experience, pride and integrity that I aspire to honor each one of our stories to propel our profession as your next NAESP Vice President.

Professional Preparation

BS, Elementary Education, Dickinson State University, 1991
MS, Educational Leadership, Moorhead State University, 2000

Professional Experience

Principal, Red Trail Elementary School, Mandan, ND, 2014-present
Principal, Mary Stark Elementary School, Mandan, ND, 2006-2014
Principal, Hagan Elementary School, Williston, ND, 2000-2006
Principal, Prairie View Elementary School, New Salem, ND, 1996-2000
Principal, Halliday Elementary School, Halliday, ND, 1995-1996 

Professional Affiliations

I-94 Consortium/Curriculum Development Committee,1996-2000
Southwest Principals President, 1999-2000
Leadership For Literacy Committee, 2003-2004
NDAESP Secretary/Treasurer, 2004-2008
NDAESP Vice President, 2007-2008
NDAESP President, 2008-2009
NDAESP State Representative, 2010-2015
Department of Public Instruction Title I Committee of Practitioners, 2007-present
Department of Public Instruction Title I Advisory Committee, 2007-2015
Department of Public Instruction Common Core Committee, 2013-2016
Department of Public Instruction ESSA Committee, 2016-present
NAESP Membership Committee, 2014
NAESP Zone 7 Director, 2015-2018
ND Elementary Principal Advisory Cabinet State Committee, 2017-present

Other Positions

Restitution/Control Theory Co-Chair, 2001-2006
Restitution/Control Theory Instructor, 200-2008
Safe Communities Coalition Board Member, 2003-2006
Partners in Education Board Member, 2004-2006
Knight of Columbus Member, 2005-2012

Professional Accomplishments

U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School, 2006-2007
National Distinguished Title I School, 2006-2007
2005 Golden Apple Service Award, 2005
Bell Ringer Award, 2006
Title I "Caught in the Act" Award, 2009
Region 7 Award
National Distinguished Principal, 2019