Rural Administrator of the Year

Past Winners

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.


2017 Rural Administrator of the Year Award Winner

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2017 Rural Administrator of the Year Award Winner

Luke Francois Mineral Point School District

Luke Francois 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 30, 2017.

Luke Francois, the district administrator of the Mineral Point School District, like​ ​most​ ​rural​ ​school​ ​administrators, ​ ​Dr.​ ​Francois​ ​wears​ ​multiple​ ​hats which are​ ​too​ ​numerous​ ​to​ ​name. ​ ​What​ ​sets him​ ​apart​ ​are​ ​the​ ​results​ ​he​ ​achieves, here are a few examples:

Starting​ ​in​ ​2012 ​Dr.​ ​Francois​ ​championed​ ​a Stadium​ ​Project​ ​Committee​ ​that​ ​has​ ​raised​ ​approximately​ ​$500,000​ ​of​ ​private​ ​donations​ ​to​ ​date. Bleachers​ ​were​ ​installed​ ​this​ ​spring​ ​and​ ​they ​are​ ​close​ ​to​ ​finally​ ​playing​ ​games​ ​at​ ​the​ ​“new”​ ​school.

In​ ​2015,​ ​the​ ​district​ ​received​ ​the​ ​distinction​ ​of​ ​being​ ​recognized​ ​by​ ​DPI​ ​for​ ​demonstrating​ ​high​ ​reading achievement​ ​growth​ ​for​ ​students​ ​with​ ​disabilities.​ ​2015​ ​was​ ​also​ ​the​ ​first​ ​of​ ​three​ ​years​ ​running​ ​the​ ​district has​ ​been​ ​recognized​ ​by​ ​DPI​ ​with​ ​a​ ​Bronze​ ​Health​ ​Award​ ​for​ ​successfully​ ​equipping​ ​students​ ​with​ ​the knowledge​ ​to​ ​make​ ​healthy​ ​decisions​ ​that​ ​will​ ​positively​ ​contribute​ ​to​ ​their​ ​academic​ ​success.

These​ ​improvements​ ​combined​ ​to​ ​bolster​ ​Mineral​ ​Point​ ​to​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​the​ ​charts​ ​with​ ​the​ ​2016​ ​DPI​ ​State Report​ ​Cards, ​earning​ ​a​ ​five​ ​star ​or​ ​Significantly​ ​Exceeding​ ​Expectations in the ​accountability​ ​ranking.​ ​ In addition,​ ​out​ ​of​ ​180​ ​districts​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​the​ ​CESA​ ​6​ ​Effectiveness​ ​Project,​ ​Mineral​ ​Point​ ​ranked​ ​first for​ ​academic​ ​growth​ ​during​ ​the​ ​2012-13​ ​through​ ​2015-16​ ​time​ ​frame.​ ​

For​ ​decades, ​ ​when​ ​people​ ​hear​ ​ “Mineral​ ​Point​ ​Schools,” ​ ​they​ ​often​ ​think​ ​of​ ​one​ ​thing–wrestling.​ ​Now,​ ​in his​ ​seventh​ ​year​ ​as​ ​Superintendent,​ ​Luke​ ​Francois​ ​has​ ​enriched​ ​the​ ​dialogue. Mineral​ ​Point​ ​is​ ​still​ ​known​ ​for​ ​wrestling, ​ ​but​ ​new​ ​words​ ​and​ ​phrases​ ​have​ ​entered​ ​the conversation–innovative, ​ ​leaders, ​ ​destination​ ​district, ​ ​and​ ​#PointerNation​ ​are​ ​just​ ​a​ ​few.

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.