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Connors receives top NDEA honor

NDEA Vice President Mark Berntson of West Fargo (left) and President Dakota Draper (right) present Joan Connor, West Fargo Education Association President, with the NDEA Educational Leadership Award during the NDEA Representative Assembly on April 9, in Bismarck.

During the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA) Representative Assembly on April 9, in Bismarck, West Fargo Education Association President Joan Connor received the Association's Educational Leadership Award.

"Connor has championed the cause of improving student and staff safety, promoting clear disciplinary policies at all levels, and protecting the rights of both students and staff in the pursuit of safe and orderly schools in the district," NDEA President Dakota Draper said.

"She is tireless in her efforts to communicate with all members," he said. "Connor spends countless hours requesting and gathering information regarding member issues and shares them frequently with the superintendent and school board.

"Thanks to Connor, staff survey results indicating significant problems with communication and trust within the district, once ignored are now being taken seriously by the school board and upper level administration. West Fargo is on the way to improving its communication, trust and public image in the district."

According to Draper, Connor has gained the respect of her constituents by remaining firm in her convictions in her quiet, professional manner. She has been an inspiration of many members who have felt demoralized and discouraged.

"Connor uplifts and validates members on a daily basis," Draper said. "She spouses leadership qualities that are unparalleled within the local organization and has made a lasting and exceptionally positive impact within the school district as a whole."