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Gullickson named ND National Distinguished Principal

By Staff | Feb 9, 2018

Bonnie Remmick/PCT Ely Elementary principal Jason Gullickson gives a speech during a surprise award ceremony in his honor.

After a surprise announcement, hundreds of Rugby’s Ely Elementary students gathered with Rugby Superintendent Mike McNeff to surprise Principal Jason Gullickson with the award for the National Distinguished Principal 2017-2018 representing North Dakota.

Ely Elementary put together a video of how they felt about Gullickson, and each child spoke of what he meant to them. As the 100-plus children gathered in the gym February 4, they cheered and jumped up and down, surprising Gullickson as he entered the gym. Each child was wearing a cut-out hand decorated tie for their shirts with a big letter G at the top.

“Kudos to all the kids for doing this, I appreciate it so much,” Gullickson said. “I was so surprised because Dr. McNeff called me and said I had to get over here and fix the boiler! I thought, the boiler, what do I know about the boiler?”

“So I called the custodian and we headed over here. It was a total surprise to me,” he continued. Gullickson was crowned with a gold crown as hundreds of small children jumped in the air yelling. They had been contained long enough.

“I have to thank all the teachers, and people who help me day to day. I couldn’t do it without all of you, and I thank you,” Gullickson said.

McNeff presented the award, which is made by the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders. “It’s a lengthy process to go through,” he said. “First, the principal must be nominated by his peers and then fill out an application which is the beginning of a lengthy process.”

Gullickson will now be invited to Washington, D.C. for the finals competing with winners from all 50 states this year.

One little third grader said, “I really like him, he’s even nicer than my dad!”

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