Crookston teacher Kim Davidson receives Education Minnesota's highest honor

Times Report
Kim Davidson is pictured with her husband, Dave.

Kim Davidson, an elementary school teacher at Highland School and current president of the Crookston Education Association, the local teachers’ bargaining unit, has been named the recipient of Education Minnesota’s 2021 Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award.

Davidson has been involved in the union throughout her 30-plus years in education, both in her time in Anoka-Hennepin and in Crookston. She has served in numerous leadership roles within her local unions, the Western North Intermediate Organization and Education Minnesota.

“She has advocated, recruited, supported and served in so many capacities that I can’t name them all. In addition, she helped to encourage the organizing of the ESP local in her district and got them to be active in our activities region-wide,” said Mark Swenson, a teacher in East Grand Forks who serves on the Western North IO Board with Davidson and nominated her for this award.

Davidson has been a member and chair of Education Minnesota’s Political Action Committee and participated in the union’s statewide research team on trauma-informed schools and restorative practices, which released a report in 2017.

“I truly believe that if the people who are working most directly with kids, if they aren’t being treated fairly, if their working conditions aren’t right, if they aren’t feeling like a professional, all of that falls back onto the kids,” Davidson said of her union advocacy work.

“She always goes above and beyond for her kids. She comes up with ideas and projects that I know the kids will always remember,” said Sarah Pester, a teacher in Crookston. “She knows her stuff when it comes to the union. She has an answer or can get you an answer on anything.”

The annual Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award is Education Minnesota’s highest honor. It is named for Judy Schaubach and the late Sandra Peterson, the union’s two leaders that oversaw the merger of the then-two educator unions, a first-in-the-nation effort.

To see a video honoring Davidson and others, go to