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206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Gary Prest

Director for Administrative Licensure Program

Org Leadership, Policy And Dev
178 Pillsbury Dr SE


Ed.D., University of Minnesota, 1993, educational administration
Spec. Cert., University of Minnesota, 1987, educational administration
M.E., University of Minnesota, 1975, elementary education
B.S. with Distinction, University of Minnesota, 1973, elementary education


Areas of Interest

Leadership training and development
Leadership research
Organizational change
Institutional culture
Strategic Thinking


With four earned degrees from the University of Minnesota, I am grateful to serve this great institution and its students as the Director of Administrative Licensure and lead in leadership development for educational administrators. This role is an excellent match with my specific education, professional experience, and interests.

I teach and advise at the post-baccalaureate level; have extensive experience leading large school district organizations as principal, central office administrator and superintendent; and have served as an educational consultant and business development coordinator in a private enterprise with clients throughout the state of Minnesota.

As Principal of Alice Smith Elementary School, Hopkins, MN, I worked with the community, students and staff to recast the school following a redrawing of school boundaries. We formed the Hopkins Community Family Center in a partnership with the City of Hopkins. We were successful in securing a $400,000 federal grant in partnership with the University of Minnesota to make the transformation to an inclusive instructional community.

As Director of Administrative Services for the Hopkins Public Schools, I supervised principals, directed administrative and school operations and served as the District’s lead on numerous projects.

As superintendent of a large metropolitan school district, Bloomington Public Schools, I led a incredibly talented executive cabinet and a 60 member leadership cadre responsible for 11,000 PreK-12 students, 1,600 employees, $100-million dollar annual budget, and 20 facilities. I collaborated on numerous projects with city, county, state and organization leaders and developed partnerships with the business community to advance engagement with the schools.

As business development coordinator and educational consultant for Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., I enhanced relationships and worked with school district leadership throughout the State of Minnesota. I presented on Cuningham Group's behalf at state and national conventions including American Association of School Administrators, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, TIES, and the Minnesota School Boards Association.

I thoroughly enjoy working with emerging leaders and serving as a colleague with the many fine school administrators throughout the state of Minnesota.

Awards and Honors

  • 2006 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year, Minnesota Association of School Administrators (2006)
  • 25 Year Club Educator of the Year, Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association (2006)
  • Russel C. Hill Award for Character Education, Learning for Life (2001)
  • Daymaker of the Year Award, Bloomington Daymaker’s Rotary (1999)
  • Professional Excellence Award for Service to Children with Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities Minnesota (1992)
  • Employer of the Year, American Cancer Society (1992)

Professional Affiliations

  • Phi Delta Kappan (1988-present)
  • American Association of School Administrators (1987-present)
  • Minnesota Association of School Administrators (1987-present)
  • MASA Executive Development Committee (2006-present)
  • Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (2014-present)

Selected Presentations

  1. Prest, G., Hoskens, J., Pfulger, J. (2013, March). Design thinking. Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

  2. Prest, G. (2011, March). Helping environments for learning: Good stewardship. Great Start Workshop II, MASA, St. Paul, MN.

  3. Prest, G. (2011, January). School of one. Principals Academy at TIES, St. Paul, MN.

  4. Prest, G. (2010, October). Transforming the American classroom one student at a time. Minnesota School Boards Association, Minneapolis, MN.

  5. Prest, G. (2008, March). Leadership’s eclectic essences. MASA Conference, Brainerd, MN

  6. Prest, G. (2006, January). Leading through change II. MASA Conference, Duluth, MN.

  7. Prest, G. Helping principals be effective and dealing with those who are not. Second Year Cohort III. MASA, St. Paul, MN.

  8. Updated July 2014