Brandsoy reflects on past 9 years as BEA superintendent
If there is one thing Dale Brandsoy is fully aware of, it is that time goes by pretty quickly.
The Blue Earth Area superintendent of schools will be retiring at the end of the day on June 30, after nine years of being the top administrator.
“The time has gone by pretty fast,” he says. “My mother always said that, and now I believe her.”
Brandsoy came to BEA when Ken Queensland retired as the superintendent.
“I was at USC for 18 years as high school and middle school principal before coming here,” Brandsoy says. “I have never really left Faribault County.”
The retiring BEA superintendent was born and raised on a farm between Frost and Bricelyn, and graduated from Frost High School in 1966.
After graduation from Mankato State University, Brandsoy taught math for three years.
“Then, believe it or not, I farmed for 12 years,” he says with a smile. “I really enjoyed that. My kids were little and I could spend a lot of time with them.”
But, he missed the interaction with people at school, with the staff and students. So, he went back to Mankato State to get his masters degree and principalship licensure.
Then he became a principal for three different schools, while never leaving the same system.
“I was at Bricelyn for one year,” he recalls. “Then Bricelyn became South Central. Later, we formed United South Central.”
For a while he was the middle school principal at both Kiester and Freeborn at the same time.
Brandsoy left USC to come to Blue Earth Area in order to take the superintendent’s position.
“I have enjoyed what I?have been doing,” he says. “Even though it has been a big time commitment at times.”
Brandsoy says he is proud of all the accomplishments that have occurred at BEA over the years.
“We have come a long way,” he says. “With our PLCs, Q-Comp, technology; we are going in the right direction, with our focus always on the kids.”
He says he has been blessed to have had a great school board to work with over the years.
“They have always been very positive, willing to work with me,” he says. “And, willing to allow me to be the administrator, knowing their role as a board. They have all done a good job.”
He says this progressive attitude is evident in how the students at BEA have had such great success. He adds that is also due in large part to the school staff.
“We have an excellent staff here,” he says. “They understand the kids.”
There is one other aspect of education that Brandsoy has been grateful for.
“BEA is a prime example of a school system where the parents, staff and students all work together for success,” he says. “And the BEA communities are totally supportive; people here take a lot of pride in their school system.”
Brandsoy points to a recent survey taken when a new superintendent was being hired to replace him.
“Those people conducting the survey could not believe the amount of support the community gives the school here,” he says. “It is also evident in the recent levy referendum vote 80 percent favored it.”
The BEA superintendent says that kind of support has made his job much easier.
Now that he has just over a month to go in his career, Brandsoy says he isn’t just too sure what he will do for retirement fun.
“I don’t golf or fish, so I guess I will have to find some other hobbies,” he says. “I’m sure I can find something to fill my time.”
He says he has not totally ruled out working again, perhaps as an interim superintendent somewhere.
“I love what I do, so that could be a possibility,” he says. “But not for a while. I want to enjoy not having a set schedule for at least a year.”
One activity he and his wife, Portia, who retired two years ago from teaching at BEA might do is travel.
The Brandsoys have four children and two grandchildren.
Daughter Krista is a Spanish teacher in Hutchinson. Their daughter Mara is an occupational therapist in St. Paul.
Anna, who has been an opera singer, now is an office manager in Oakland, Calif.
Their son, Michael, also lives in California, working in a group home in San Diego.
“I’m sure we will be visiting them a lot more,” Brandsoy says. “Plus there are always things that need to be done around our farmstead.”
The Brandsoys live eight miles southeast of Blue Earth, near Frost, where they have lived most of their lives. And they sure don’t plan on moving anywhere else, they say.
One thing the soon to be ex-BEA superintendent won’t miss?
“I won’t have to get up early every morning in the winter and check the weather to see if school needs to be called off,” he says. “I will let the new guy worry about that.”