Draayer, Donald R. 1935–

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Draayer, Donald R. 1935–

(Donald Roger Draayer)

PERSONAL: Born November 8, 1935, in Albert Lea, MN; son of Bert (a vegetable farmer) and Hattie (a homemaker; maiden name, Kuiters) Draayer; married Mary Anne Owens (an elementary schoolteacher), June 25, 1960; children: Dirk Donald, Dawn Diane Draayer Thibodeau. Ethnicity: "Holland Dutch." Education: University of Minnesota, B.S., 1957; Western Michigan University, M.A., 1960; University of Illinois, Ed.D., 1967. Religion: Presbyterian. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, woodworking, photography.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Scarecrow Education, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Ste. 200, Lanham, MD 20706. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer. Teacher at public elementary schools in Battle Creek, MI, 1957–60; Department of Defense Schools, Tachikawa, Japan, elementary school principal, 1960–64; Leyden Township School District, Franklin Park, IL, high school principal, 1967–71; Minnetonka Public Schools, Minnetonka, MN, superintendent, 1971–95; University of Minnesota, lecturer, 1995–2002. Search Institute of Minneapolis, trainer, 1995–2001; Experience Plus, Inc., president, 1995–2004. Faith Presbyterian Foundation, founder and member, 1983–; Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, board member, 1996–98.

MEMBER: Suburban School Superintendents (president, 1988–89), Minnesota Association of School Administrators (member of board of directors, 2003–05), Excelsior Rotary Club (president, 1991–92).

AWARDS, HONORS: American Association of School Administrators, named national superintendent of the year, 1991, Distinguished Service Award, 1998; John Vaughn Excellence in Education Award, North Central Accrediting Association, 1993; named person of the year, Excelsior Chamber of Commerce, 1995.


(With Eugene C. Roehlkepartain) Ten Lessons I've Learned about Investments: Viewpoints from the Other Side of Retirement, American Asset Management, 1995.

Retirement Straight Talk: Stories and Wisdom from Educators, Scarecrow Education (Lanham, MD), 2003.

Author of a booklet "Learning and Living: How Asset Building for Youth Can Unify a School's Mission," Search Institute of Minneapolis (Minneapolis, MN), 1996. Contributor to periodicals, including Administrator Forum, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, School Executive Report, North Central Association Quarterly, and School Administrator.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Three Island Lake History; Prayers of a Grandfather.

SIDELIGHTS: Donald R. Draayer told CA: "Writing forces me to think clearly and to act consistently, two attributes that serve leaders effectively. Writing also conveys thoughts and ideas to wider audiences, another factor in good school administration. My intention is always to improve teaching and education, by whatever means are at my disposal. The pen can be a powerful means of communication.

"For example, I observed hundreds of educators retire at the end of their long careers, some leaving happily and others with foreboding. That observation prompted me to write the book Retirement Straight Talk: Stories and Wisdom from Educators, to help people through this huge life transition.

"Similarly, I believe the mission question is the core issue facing school leaders. I wrote the booklet 'Learning and Living: How Asset Building for Youth Can Unify a School's Mission' for the Search Institute to stress the point that excellence in education encompasses both head and heart."

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Draayer, Donald R. 1935–

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