John Alstad NDP

Mr. John Alstad of John Hoeven Elementary School, Minot, ND is the North Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals’ 2023 National Distinguished Principal.

John Alstad is truly in the business of building relationships. He bring a positive energy that is infectious and can build and foster relationships with students, staff, and parents. His genuine concern for patrons is displayed in countless caring and uplifting ways. Whether he is greeting students by name, making small talk with parents, or finding ways they can help their staff, he is always striving to create a culture that is positively infectious. It is noted that John takes a vested interest in the personal lives of staff and can often be found attending weddings, funerals, sporting, and culture events. The demeanor that is displayed creates and earns the respect of anyone who has had the good fortune of knowing John. He never too busy to listen and they keep an “open door” policy for students, staff, or parents.

John is a strong communicator and demonstrates this on a daily basis.  Weekly messages are sent to staff communicating important information as well as thoughtful passages on how to be a better individual in life. He is proactive and visible throughout the school, continuously checking in to ensure everything is going okay. He has made it a priority to improve parent communication and they make several positive phone calls to parents weekly. Anyone who walks through the doors of his building is greeted and genuinely welcomed to his school.

John is always looking at ways to better the education process. He is creative and inspire others, all while looking at how this will benefit students. John is described as an outstanding leader demonstrating intelligence, energy, passion, and the willingness to get involved at the local, state and national level. He is a “go getter” and always striving to grow professionally and personally. This willingness and desire to know more is contagious. He is always striving to do better for students and colleagues, simply put, he empower others to be their best!

In the words of John, “Principalship is too big to take on by yourself and that is why building trusting relationships is so important. The going further together then alone parable is at work in our school. I do my best to empower staff and distribute leadership so that I can make decisions with the staff, not for the staff.