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Webb honored with statewide District Leader in Communication award

Superintendent Webb receiving Leadership in Communication award at MinnSPRA conference   Superintendent smiling while giving speech

Friday, April 12, 2019 — South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) congratulates Superintendent Dave Webb on his receipt of the District Leadership in Communication Award from the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA). The award recognizes an educational leader for outstanding leadership in school public relations and communications, highlighting the importance of a leader’s role in implementing and supporting an effective communications program to engage all stakeholders.

“Whenever a superintendent gets an award, there are always those ready to give you the raspberries and say, ‘Wow Dave, there must have been a really shallow pool this year,’” Webb remarked at the April 4 luncheon at which he received the award. “But seriously, I have a great team, at home and at work, and thanks to them, I am up here today. I am kind of an average Joe, but I try to surround myself with great people and then great can things happen.”

According to MinnSPRA President Barbara Olson, the award committee recognized Webb for his quite servant leadership and recognition that a district’s success depends on effectively sharing information with the community while also listening to what the community has to say.

“It is my opinion that Dr. Dave Webb is the perfect example of what is looked for in the MinnSPRA’s District Leadership in Communication Award,” wrote School Board Chair Chris Walker in his letter of support for Webb’s nomination. “Our district is stronger when our messages are both conveyed and understood, and when all voices are heard. Dr. Webb has sought out opportunities to ensure that all of these occur, and by my measurement, he has been successful and our district is better off as a result.”

The MinnSPRA award committee noted Webb’s use of multiple tools to communicate with stakeholders, including the focused conversations, online engagement tools, surveys, flipped videos and social media, as reasons for his selection. His active engagement on Twitter, in which he highlights his travels throughout the district, inside classrooms and at student events, and his support and advocacy for SSP Schools is never waning. ”He tweets about the great work of SSP staff, partnerships with community and business leaders, and continued advocacy at the Legislature on behalf of fair and equitable funding for all Minnesota school districts,” said SSP Director of Communications Susan Brott recently. “You often see him taking video and pictures on his phone that will undoubtedly end up on Twitter, which only increases his accessibility with the member of the South St. Paul community.” Additionally, the award committee noted Webb’s fluency of Spanish as an asset in building strong relationships with the district’s large South St. Paul’s Latinx population.

Brott added that Webb demonstrates incredible mastery of critical communication leadership skills, including listening, “especially of late as the district works through difficult parent and staff conversations about student mental health and behavior challenges. He is not afraid to listen to criticism in an effort to continuously improve, and he has a significant gift for engaging all voices in the work of the district.”

At the ceremony, Webb took time to thank his family and colleagues who were present, but in typical SSP cheerleader fashion, he concluded his remarks singing the praises of the entire district community. “The team members you met today, and all of those leaders back in SSP making the system work well, are the reason I get the honor to receive this award,” said Webb. “This award is for our entire South St. Paul team! Go Packers!”

Follow the travels and tweets of Superintendent Dave Webb on Twitter @SSP_Super