Organization names Horton a Superintendent to Watch

Photo by Fritz Busch Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Schools Superintendent Jeff Horton receives recognition as a Superintendent to Watch from Nicole Kirby, president of the National School Public Relations Association

GIBBON — Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Schools Superintendent Jeff Horton was recently recognized as a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association.

Horton, who received the award last month, is the first Minnesotan to receive the award since 2018. He was nominated by staff and community members.

The award recognizes school district leaders across the country who demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication.

Award winners use communication technology in innovative and effective ways to engage and inform their school communities and expand two-way communication and outreach, according to the NSPRA.

“When I started at GFW, getting out into the community was the top priority,” said Horton. “I wanted to engage and connect with people to hear what was working, what wasn’t and what they thought was the best direction for our district. I have worked hard to incorporate what I heard in those conversations to everything we have done from my first 100 days through the strategic planning process.”

Horton said to him, the award is really about the great work everyone is doing at GFW Schools District.

“We have such a strong team at GFW right now,” Horton said. “I am honored to be a part of this group of educators and passionate citizens who really do have the best interest of kids as their guiding force.”

Horton participated in a national superintendent program and will serve as a mentor to other superintendents.

“I am honored to become a mentor from other superintendents. I have gained so much from the mentors I have had,” he said. “For me, it is about growing as a leader, growing others, and ultimately growing communities, which is something I work towards in all I do.”

This spring, Horton earned a doctorate. He completed his dissertation on “The Association Between the Implementation of 1:1 Devices on Math and Reading Achievement for High School Students Receiving Special Educational Services.”

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)


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