Wayne Sanstead to receive NDHSAA Distinguished Service Award


May 10, 2017 9:30 am

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Wayne Sanstead, former North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction and North Dakota High School Activities Association Board Member, has been named a recipient of the NDHSAA’s Distinguished Service Award.

The NDHSAA Board of Directors approved Sanstead’s nomination Thursday, May 4 in Valley City. The NDHSAA’s Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made positive contributions to interscholastic activities in the state.

Wayne Sanstead served as North Dakota’s Superintendent of Public Instruction for 28 years prior to his 2012 retirement which ended a public service career that lasted almost a half century. During his tenure as North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sanstead served on the North Dakota High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors.

According to the Council of Chief State School Officers, a Washington-based organization of education administrators, Sanstead was the longest-serving state school administrator in the country prior to his retirement.

Sanstead was first elected as North Dakota’s Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1984 and held that post until January 1, 2013. He won re-election six times.

Colleagues and contemporaries described Sanstead as being a well-respected representative for North Dakota’s public schools. Sanstead was known for his efforts outside of the office in visits to schools across the state and attending numerous extracurricular activities.

Sanstead also served North Dakota as a member of the state’s house of representatives (1965-1970), a member of the state senate (1971-1973) and also was the state’s 31st Lieutenant Governor under Governor Arthur A. Link (1973-1981).

Sanstead was born April 16, 1935 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and is a 1953 graduate of Minot High School. After graduating, Sanstead attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in speech and political science in 1957. Sanstead taught one year in Luverne, Minnesota before moving back to Minot, where he taught for 18 years also serving as a speech and debate coach.

Sanstead received a Master’s Degree in Public Address from Northwestern University in 1966 and later earned a Doctorate in Secondary Education from the University of North Dakota in 1969.

Sanstead is married to Mary Jane Sanstead and has two sons Timothy and Jonathan.

Previous NDHSAA Distinguished Service Award Winners:

Odean Olson, Jamestown (2012-13)
Ed Lockwood, Fargo (2012-13)
Sheryl Solberg, Valley City (2011)
Dave Carlsrud, Valley City (2010)
Mike Berg, Grand Forks (2010)
Robert Hetler, Valley City (2008)
Susan Anderson, Richardton-Taylor (2007)
Alton Nygaard, Des Lacs-Burlington (2007)
Bill Rogers, Fargo (2006)
Gelaine Orvik, Fargo (2005)
NBC North Dakota (2004)
Susan Carlsrud, Valley City (2001)
Minot Daily News (2000)
Alida D. Posein, Valley City (1998)
Rod Romine, Minot (1998)
Ervin Ely, Bismarck (1996)
Lee Halvorson, Williston (1995)
Donald Bauer, Valley City (1994)