Taber Akin, principal of Eastview Elementary School, has received the 2019 Division Leadership Achievement Award from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA). He’s being recognized for MESPA’s South Suburban Division.
The award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs by improving education, their communities, and their profession. Akin was recognized February 7, 2019 at the MESPYs celebration, which takes place during MESPA Institute, the annual statewide convention of Minnesota’s elementary and middle-level principals.
Akin summed up his educational philosophy by quoting poet, William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
“I am thankful for the opportunity to work in a district that allows me to lead as I professionally see fit, to be part of an amazing school community, and to explore and implement new ideas,” Akin said as he further reflected on his time at Eastview.
“Through this experience we’ve been able to travel to learn from other high-energy innovative schools, fully embraced Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) work, expanded the reasons students and staff want to come and stay at Eastview, hired a School Resource Dog, celebrated continued strong academic performance, and supported created ideas that help us achieve our mission of ‘Working Together and Learning Forever.’
Akin was nominated by Bret Domstrand, the principal at Lake Marion Elementary and president of MESPA’s South Suburban division. “Taber is the epitome of leadership. He is humble, leads with courage, and is willing to do many of the extra things a principal needs to do to connect with kids,” Domstrand said of Akin.
“Taber led his team to develop a ‘House’ program that has led to a cultural shift in his building,” said Domstrand. That program divides students into four ‘houses’ to create opportunities for students and staff at Eastview to connect.
Domstrand went on to say, “People talk about [Taber] as a leader of change and someone who will go to bat for just about anything that works for kids.”