Jill Dickinson has been voted Region 7 community educator of excellence by the Minnesota Community Education Association board of directors. She is the director of community education with Park Rapids Area Schools.

The award recognizes “persons committed to working together, creating opportunities, persisting through challenges and partnering with others,” according to the MCEA.

In an award video last week, Dickinson’s award was announced by MCEA President Cory Franson.

“Jill has worked in the community education field for 22 years, with 12 of those years served as a director,” said Franson. “She is supportive of the staff that she serves as her peers, always going above and beyond to help in any way. Her leadership makes staff feel valued and appreciated as they provide the best opportunities for the life-long learners in their community.

“She holds a high regard for growing programming that benefits the community at large and families alike. Recently, she served as the Region 7 rep to the MCEA board, and regularly attends the Northern Community Education Consortium. In the Park Rapids community, she is involved with multiple organizations and community projects.”

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“Jill is very deserving of receiving the MCEA Region 7 Director of the Year Award,” said Lance Bagstad, superintendent of Park Rapids Area Schools. “Jill has brought vision to the Park Rapids Community Ed that has grown and expanded the opportunities for youth and adults to learn and experience activities that meet their individual needs.”

“I’m very honored to be the recipient of the Regional Community Educators of Excellence award,” said Dickinson. “After a few years of working in community education, I quickly knew this was my passion, which led me to take classes for my community education director’s license.

“I enjoy all aspects of Community Education, whether I am working with programs such as early childhood, preschool, after-school care, youth/adult enrichment or collaborating with others on community projects. I’m thankful for our Community Ed staff, who all share the same passion, which creates great programs.”