Rural Principal of the Year

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

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

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


Rural Principal of the Year Award Winners

New in 2019

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WIRSA)

2019 Rural Principal of the Year Award


Andy Banasik Prairie du Chien School District

Andy Banasik is a graduate of the Prairie du Chien School District and after completing college returned home to teach, coach, serve as an assistant principal, Athletic Director and for the last eighteen years he has led the high school as the building principal. Striving for excellence and opportunity is second nature for Andy. Through his leadership and outreach Prairie du Chien is now beginning their 5th Intro to Criminal Justice course with SWTC.

When students were interested in CNA classes with clinicals in Prairie du Chien, he reached out to SWTC for a partnership that brought a CNA class to the students with clinicals at the local nursing home. Along with the CAN class he also brokered two online nursing prep course opportunities for the students. Andy has also brought in an Introduction to Education class partnering with CESA 3 and UW-Platteville as well as an Introduction to Engineering Course through UW-Platteville. These are just some examples of Andy’s quest for better opportunities for our students.

One of the latest innovative initiatives led by Andy is our own alternative education program. Through Andy’s leadership and belief that we know our students best Prairie du Chien set to offer our own GEDO II and alternative education programs. Andy believes the smaller group setting utilizing all local resources will better meet the needs of struggling students.

Andy continually strives to ensure that the needs of all students are met from the technical school-bound to the university prospects to the students entering the workforce to those struggling to graduate to the cognitively disabled students each and every one of them. 

Andy is a responsive leader who also promotes excellence with his staff and in the community.

Andy was nominated by Prairie du Chein ACP/Testing Coordinator Karen Sjoberg.