Rural Administrator of the Year

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) Board of Directors established this award to recognize a school administrator/principal/director who has made significant contributions to his/her rural school district.

To be nominated you must be an administrator/principal/director at any level in a WiRSA member school district.

Award winners will be selected by the WiRSA Board of Directors Executive Committee.


Rural Administrator of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2018 Rural Administrator of the Year Award

Bryce Bird Riverdale School District

Bryce Bird was honored by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping address challenges faced by rural school districts, at the annual Rural Schools Conference on October 29, 2018.

For the past thirteen years, Riverdale District Administrator Bryce Bird has devoted countless hours working to bring opportunities to the students, staff, and community. First and foremost, Mr. Bird prioritizes student growth daily through the many decisions he faces. He has initiated many conversations within the district and with leaders from area districts to provide the most up-to-date programming for Riverdale students. Although decisions may be tough to make at times, especially when budgets are concerned, there is no doubt that Mr. Bird puts the welfare of the students first when making those choices. A few specific choices that stand out as highlights of Mr. Bird’s leadership in the area of student growth are the PEP Grant, our district safety initiative, and the BOOST Learning Consortium.

Mr. Bird also recognizes that our students will thrive best when our staff is knowledgeable and appreciated. He is very supportive of professional development and has worked to develop an in-district system to provide more continuity and follow-through on teacher training. One key avenue through which he has done this is through providing time in teacher contracts for math coaching, literacy coaching, and technology coaching. With staff in the district responsible for these roles, Mr. Bird is very dedicated to communicating with the coaches to provide the best resources, curriculum, and training opportunities for our staff in these areas.

Mr. Bird is chiefly responsible for developing a positive climate in our buildings between administration and other staff. After Act 10, Mr. Bird worked diligently with our school board and teaching staff to maintain a balance that respected all involved. He knows and cares about each person working for the district on a personal level, and his employees know he will listen to concerns and tackle them fairly.

Other award winners honored by WiRSA at the Rural Schools Conference were Ashley Furniture Industries of Arcadia, Rural Business Partner of the Year; Dan Viste, Southern Door County School District, Rural Support Staff Person of the Year; Steve Pate of Portage, Rural Board of Education Member of the Year; Justin Gerlach, teacher in the Mishicot School District, Rural Teacher of the Year; and Heather DuBois Bourenane, Executive Director of WPEN, Rural Advocacy Award.

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance was formed to help rural school districts address the unique issues that affect rural schools as they seek to achieve the highest quality education for every student.  Members include a cross-section of administrators, educators, school board members, post-secondary representatives, rural community members, business leaders, and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural education.