Hegstad Receives $25,000 Milken Award

The following is from the Milken Educator Awards website.

MOC-Floyd Valley High School Assistant Principal and Extended Career Experiences (ECE) Coordinator Grant Hegstad is a leader in creating a culture that is generating strong, ambitious students ready to succeed after graduation. A former special education teacher, Hegstad now directs the school’s CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) program in addition to his administrator role. Through a partnership with local business owners and community members, MOC-Floyd Valley students gain on-the-job training, real-world experiences and the opportunity to explore a variety of different career paths.

With Hegstad’s guidance and commitment, the CAPS/ECE program has grown from a handful of students to some 50 students this academic year. CAPS students meet within the local STAPLES corporate office so that students can have direct exposure to the business environment. His hard work is paying off: Students who participated in the program with local businesses have turned those internships into full-time jobs post-graduation, and others have found employment as welders after completing their CAPS/ECE coursework. Students have expressed high praise for CAPS in presentations to the school board, noting the relevance of their career experiences in their plans for the future.

Hegstad’s enthusiasm for the program led him to bring CAPS students to Des Moines to present at the Governor’s annual STEM Day. He has also provided guidance and leadership to assist a dozen area school districts who have joined the Siouxland CAPS network. On a constant mission to grow and improve, Hegstad regularly seeks out new business partners to help expand the program’s offerings for students. Under his guidance, MOC-Floyd Valley is in the process of adding CAPS Medicine and CAPS Education programs to the lineup.

The legacy of Hegstad’s work in this community is his commitment to see the best in every student and teacher at MOC-Floyd Valley High School – and to empower them to believe in themselves. He makes time in his busy days to mentor new teachers, participates in the school’s professional learning community, and even “tackled” leadership of the MOC-Floyd Valley Football Program where he serves as head coach – go, Dutchmen!

Hegstad earned his Bachelor of Arts in business education in 2010 from Northwestern College, and has continued the relationship with the university through his assistance in Accelerate Siouxland – a regional leadership development program under the Center for Innovation and Leadership. Hegstad received a Master of Education in educational leadership in 2014 from the University of Sioux Falls.