Dennis Carlson served as superintendent for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the largest school district in Minnesota, from 2008 to 2014. He also served as Superintendent of Minnesota Transitions Charter School, the largest public charter school in Minnesota, from 2016 to 2018. He currently works as an education consultant in the Carlson Consulting Corporation.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota and Master’s Degree in Community Education from Mankato State University. He began his career as an art teacher in Mercer Common School District, Mercer, Wisconsin. He spent a year as recreation supervisor at the Christian Youth Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin and then became a Community Education Director, serving in the Glencoe and Elk River School Districts before accepting a position as community education director for Anoka-Hennepin School District in 1986. He held that position until 2003, when he was named Assistant Superintendent, and became Superintendent in 2008.
He has held many leadership positions, serving on the Minnesota Community Education Association board for five years, including a year as president. He was co-chair of the National Council of State Community Education Associations and served on the Board of Directors of the National Community Education Association. He was also co-chair of the membership committee of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and regional chair of the legislative committee for Schools for Equity in Education. In addition, he served as the president’s appointee on the Minnesota School Public Relations Association Board of Directors and was given that organization’s District Leadership in Communication Award.
Dennis earned numerous awards from the Minnesota Community Education Association, including its President’s Award in 1983, Director of the Year Award in 1985, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He also earned the National Community Education Association’s Special Service Award in 1985 as well as the organization’s Outstanding Contribution to State Legislation Award in 2002.
Dennis also received the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Award for being a positive agent of change in Anoka County in 2013, and in 2014 he received the Achievement in Education Award from the North Suburban Optimist Club and the Administrator of Excellence Award from MASA.
Dennis was active in the community as a member of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Advisory Council, the Coon Rapids Rotary Club and served a term as their president. In retirement he has served on the Wallin Education Partners Board of Trustees for four years (September 2015 to present) and also serves as their Governance Committee Chair.
Dennis Carlson serves as Governance Committee Chair