Nominations are being accepted until Friday, September 29,2023.

 The G.V. Erickson Award is given to a member of the School Administrators of Montana who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana; something that G.V. did throughout his career. This is the most honored award a school administrator of Montana can receive.
2022 G.V. Erickson Award
The 2022 G.V. Erickson Award was presented to Dave Wick,
Superintendent at Columbia Falls School District
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The School Administrators of Montana (SAM) is proud to announce the 2022 G.V. Erickson Award recipient, Mr. Dave Wick, Superintendent at Columbia Falls School District.  Mr. Wick was awarded this distinguished honor at the annual Montana Conference of Education Leadership (MCEL) held October 19-21, 2022 in Missoula.  The G.V. Erickson Award is given to a member of SAM who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana.  This is the most prestigious award a school administrator in Montana can receive.  The award is named after Mr. G.V. Erickson, a school administrator who dedicated his career and life to education and the children of Montana.  The G. V. Erickson award recipients have been honored for over 40 years.  

Mr. Wick earned a Bachelor of Arts in English education with a minor in business administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1980.  He completed his Masters Degree in Education Leadership from the University of Montana in 1993 and underwent his doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership and Supervision in 1994. He has also taken graduate coursework at Carleton College, Hamline University, and St. Cloud State University. 

Beginning his career as an English teacher at Alma Public School in Wisconsin, Mr. Wick continued his teaching and coaching career in Hope, North Dakota, and Brainerd, Minnesota, before becoming assistant principal at Central School in Whitefish in 1994. He has been an administrator at the Columbia Falls School District since 1997 as Principal of Columbia Falls Junior High, Director of Elementary Education, and now as the district’s Superintendent.  Mr. Wick was awarded the Montana Distinguished Principal Award in 2011, and in 2012, was named National Distinguished Principal. He also served as the President of the National Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals during the 2019-20 school year. 

Mr. Wick has dedicated his career to not only his students and faculty but also to his colleagues in education. He has been a member of SAM for nearly three decades as a member of both the Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals (MAEMSP) and the Montana Association of School Superintendents (MASS) affiliates.  He currently serves as the President of MASS.  Mr. Wick has said that these professional associations have been key to the successes he has experienced during his time as an administrator.

Mr. Wick was nominated for this award by Mr. Jon Konen, Principal at Columbia Falls High School.  Mr. Konen stated, “What is not found on Dave's resume is his constant pursuit in advocating for students. He has worked with local, state, and federal leaders to meet the needs of not only students and families, but also the educators he works with. Every day you will find Dave meeting with students, staff members, board members, and community members face to face. He is always working on building the leadership capacity of the people he serves. This servant leadership philosophy is evident as he meets with food service workers, discusses the buildings and grounds with the maintenance crew, and discusses technology instruction with teachers. He truly puts relationships first and has a stellar reputation locally, in the state, and across the nation.”

Dr. Rob Watson, Executive Director for School Administrators of Montana (SAM), stated “Mr. Wick has dedicated much of his life to education. Each day, he demonstrates his strong commitment to students and staff. In addition, he has earned the respect of his entire community. He is an outstanding representative of what is great about Montana public school educators, one that Mr. G.V. Erickson would be proud to consider a colleague.”


The G. V. Erickson Award was presented by Ms. Shelley Andres, Principal at Bonner Elementary School District and President of SAM.  The entire SAM membership congratulates Mr. Dave Wick on being honored with this prestigious award. 


Past G.V. Erickson Award Recipients


Milt Negus



Conrad Robertson

  2022   Doug Reisig         


C. Buzz Christiansen



John McNeil



Jim Turner



Rachel Vielleux



Cliff Harmala



Dr. Kirk Miller



Bob Souhrada



Dr. Fred Anderson



Don MacLennan



Dr. Bruce Messinger



Edith Harper



Pat Hould



Chris Mattocks



Brian Patrick



Wally Vinnedge



Leonard Orth



Paul Casey Stengel



Larry Crowder



Jacob Block



Dr. Doug Reisig



Roger Eble



Jack Copps



John Fero



Ron Whitmoyer



Dennis Kraft



Jule Walker



Vivan Scoles



Dr. Bruce Whitehead



Dr. Ernie Jean



Rick Duncan



Dr. Peter Carparelli



Dr. Rob Watson



James Wood



Tammy Lacey



Craig Brewington



Dr. Laurie Barron



Kathleen Lockyer



Dr. Darlene Schottle



Dr. J. Jay Erdie

   2020  Tobin Novasio      

About Mr. Erickson 
Mr. G. V. Erickson was born in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1911 where he attended elementary, high school and college.  G. V. graduated from Concordia College in 1934 with a major in biology and a double minor in German and physical education.  Mr. Erickson completed graduated work at the University of Montana, Montana State University, and Carroll College prior to receiving a Masters Degree in School Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1945.  At his first teaching position G. V. was a principal, coach, and a math and science instructor in New Leipzig, North Dakota for three years.  G. V. then went to Brockton as a science and math instructor and coach in 1937.  After two years he became superintendent and held that position for three years.  He then moved to Glasgow where he was a principal of the junior/senior high school.  G. V. then moved to Havre for three years as high school principal.  In 1948 G. V. moved to Helena as elementary principal of the Bryant, Lincoln, Hawthorn, and Broadwater schools. In 1955 he set up the first Helena Junior High School and was principal there through 1959.  In 1959 he moved to Montana State University in Bozeman as the Director of Student Teaching.  G. V. held this position for 10 years, and when the Department of Education became the College of Education in 1967, he became the Head of the Department of Secondary Education and Foundations.  He held this position until he retired in 1973.
Along with his regular position at MSU, G. V. was offered an additional challenge in education.  At the first meeting of the joint organization of MASA-MAESP-MASSP held in Billings in 1971, he was asked b the newly formed Executive Board to become the organization’s first executive secretary.  G. V. held this part-time position in addition to his work at Montana State University.  He was SAM’s Executive Secretary for the first six years of his existence.
Also G. V. became a life member of MEA in 1937, the NEA in 1940, the NAESP in 1953, and was also a life member of the MASSP.
The term “nice guy” was created for G. V. Erickson.  He had a great compassion for educators and students.  G. V.’s motivational speeches, which accompanied his annual report to administrators, will never be forgotten.
Mr. G. V. Erickson passed away a few short days before the annual G. V. Erickson Award was presented at the Fall Conference in 1996.