Early History of NDASSP
Submitted by Les Nyhus, Sec./Treas., NDASSP/Jan. 1982
In doing the research for this short history of NDASSP, the earliest minutes and information found dated back to 1951. This alone is basic proof that the organization is thirty plus years old now, just how much older than thirty is unknown to this writer.
The dues structure of the organization from 1951 through 1963 is unheard of today - $1.00 per member per year. Membership ranged in the 30 - 40 area. Topics of discussion centered around Student Council, National Honor Society, attendance, class rings, and grading - topics still under consideration today. A suggestion of NDASSP uniting with the North Dakota Association of School Administrators was made in 1958, but no action was taken at that time.
An increase in dues to the staggering amount of $5.00 per year marked the years from 1964 through 1969, and membership rose to the 50 - 60 range. Vocational education entered the scene in 1965 and made an important impression on the members of NDASSP. The principal"s credential, salary surveys, representation from NDASSP, the North Dakota High School Activities Association, and the formation of the Southwest Region of NDASSP highlighted this era.
Beginning in 1969, a total of 80 members paid dues in the amount of $10.00. Emphasis on vocational education, the realization that drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse was rapidly becoming a problem of major proportions, and a second suggested Congress of School Administrators were important topics to the membership. Please bear in mind that topics mentioned previously as well as later in this article, plus many more not mentioned, continued to hold the interest of all.
The decade beginning in July 1971 marked a drastic upsurge for members of NDASSP. An agreement was signed with the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, whereby NDASSP purchased services from MASSP. The services included some time of the MASSP Executive Director, his office personnel and equipment, and the experience and expertise of a veteran organization. The members of NDASSP gained much during this period.
Membership in 1971 reached the amazing figure of 107 men and women who had paid $50.00 state dues. By June 1980, the last year of the NDASSP/MASSP affiliation, the total members had increased to 182 principals who had paid annual dues in the amount of $110.00. The old saying that membership is the life blood of an organization was proven once again. Increasing numbers of principals paid steadily increasing dues to assure a vibrant, healthy organization.
During the decade of the 1970"s, the activities and concerns of NDASSP grew dramatically. The affiliation with the Minnesota group brought new life to the North Dakota association in many forms. Educational legislation, membership, retirement, insurance - liability and auto, more active involvement in NASSP, including annual attendance at Region IV and national meetings, communications-including the bulletin, "Lariat", regional representation from six North Dakota regions, regional seminars plus fall, mid-winter, and summer conferences and workshops are just a few of the many topics of interest and activity.
During the year of 1975, a large step was taken by members of NDASSP. It was the ratification of the new constitution of the umbrella organization to be known as the North Dakota Council of School Administrators. NDASSP worked diligently toward the formation of NDCSA and, to this day, continue in the same path. 1980 was the first year in the operation of NDCSA and was definitely a success thanks to all affiliated organizations.
This short history of the North Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals is by no means complete. Many of the topics, discussions, and accomplishments of the organization have been omitted due to space and time.
Those principals who worked so energetically over the years toward the success of NDASSP are to be commended to the highest degree as well as those principals who support the organization through membership and involvement. The current membership (January 1982) stands at 195 individuals working together for the continued growth of NDASSP.