There couldn't have been a better person to present the award to this year's Estherville Lincoln Central Champion in Education.
Lili Jensen, librarian, friend and herself a previous recipient of the award, heaped accolade after accolade on Kris Schlievert, recently retired ELC elementary principal, who received the award Tuesday night at the Estherville Golf Course from the ELC School Foundation.
"If ever I have known a determined and resilient individual, it is Kris," said Jensen. "Kris always gives a hundred percent to our school and our students."
Lili Jensen, herself a recipient of the Champion in Education award, presented the award to former ELC principal Kris Schlievert Tuesday night at Estherville Golf Course.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
In reviewing Schlievert's accomplishments, Jensen also took note of the human footprint that she left.
"She left her mark in every corner of our district," said Jensen, fondly recalling Schlievert leading both the Halloween parade and Christmas carolers. And then there was her role as Zero the Hero every 100th day of school.
"Not a single one of our students or one of our staff members was ever in need," said Jensen. "She is truly an educational leader. She did it through encouragement and getting people the resources they needed to be effective. She also deserves this award for the years I know are yet to come."
Schlievert herself heaped thanks on those who helped her at ELC, starting with superintendent Bill Hutchinson who hired her. She also recalled meeting Marty Hall, who just recently passed away. "I just knew we'd have a friend forever," Schlievert said. "What a grand lady and a class act."
One more classroom lecture came as Schlievert gave her thanks, using it as an acronym to extol those who have assisted her over the years.
She thanked the foundation for its efforts and gave a hats off to the staff, particularly elementary, for their efforts. She recalled getting the FINE award and starting Cognitively Guided Instruction. "It's just amazing what kids can do if they're given a chance," she said, also thanking staff and parents.
Schlievert also offered accolades to area businesses that have helped over the years.
"They've been great support," she said, gathering donated school supplies, moving playground equipment and doing whatever else needed to be done to keep the school running smoothly.
As for now, Schlievert said the 21st Century grant creates lots of great programs.
And she gave kudos to the Parent Action Team. "The money that they brought in to the elementary was phenomenal," Schlievert said, noting they had raised $61,000 for playground equipment alone.
She also offered sincere thanks to family and friends, especially her husband Mick, recalling "those many hours I was here and not there." She also thanked Mick for his dedication to the Christmas project. "He cared as much about the kids as I did."
"I have really loved every minute in Estherville," said Schlievert. "I really hope I did what was best for kids."