03/16/2007  - Dr. Craig Olson- Principal
  • Craig Olson has demonstrated a caring and loving attitude towards his students and staff.  He was in attendance at many functions and would take an interest in individuals.
    Craig poured his heart and soul into the development of PLHS - the building - and was willing to put in many extra hours to make sure the opening was successful.
    His character and personal accomplishments are hard to address - as his willingness to help thru Habitat, Peace Corp, People to People - say everything about him!
  • Dr. Olson has remained a leader and innovator while serving as the principal of Prior Lake High School.  He displays a true dedication and shows a high level of commitment to making Prior Lake High School an enjoyable experience for staff, students, and community members.  Most importantly, Dr. Olson strives to make sure that all students are valued and makes sure that all their needs are met.  One way he has done this is through the encouragement of in-school groups.  Whether it be Student Council, the National Honor Society, S.O.S., Link Crew, or the many other established groups and organizations, he shows a high level of support to these groups and promotes them in all that they do.  He has been a vital part in the foundation of the new high school.  He has helped to create an atmosphere at this school which promotes unity, school spirit, and compassion.  He is constantly brainstorming on how to improve upon our school in order to create an even more pleasurable experience.  Just as a great leader and teacher, he always puts others before himself and displays a high level of modesty, deserving much more credit than is often times given.  It is for this reasons that he be recognized for his accomplishments and acts of generosity through his positive attitude and strong and admirable character.  It was an honor to have Dr. Olson serve as principal of Prior Lake High School for so many years and through his actions, he has left a legacy at this school which will never be forgotten.
  • As an alumnus of Prior Lake High School, I had the blessing of knowing and actually being able to work with Dr. Olson on a couple of occasions.  What a wonderful pleasure and honor those experiences were!  During my various encounters with Dr. Olson, I always enjoyed his enthusiasm and joy of working with students.  His positive, upbeat, approachable personality made students feel at ease around him.  His sense of humor is also a refreshing aspect of his personality.  Dr. Olson's staunch support of the Green Bay Packers amidst strong Vikings supporters has frequently been the amusement of the staff and students of Prior Lake High School.  A prominent example of Dr. Olson's sense of humor radiating forth concerns the time when some teachers filled Dr. Olson's office with Vikings accessories and hung his Green Bay Packer's jersey on the highest point in the cafeteria.  Dr. Olson's wide sense of humor has embellished the high school environment over the years.
    Dr. Olson's life has been a commitment to serving others.  With his earlier experience as a member of the Peace Corps, Dr. Olson carried this devotion to service into his life career and beyond.  Not only has Dr. Olson dedicated more than 20 years of his career to the Prior Lake-Savage educational community, but he has also shown his commitment to service through advising Prior Lake's chapter of Habitat for Humanity, staunchly supporting the Prior Lake chapter of National Honor Society, and many others.
    Dr. Olson's commitment to the betterment of the Prior Lake-Savage area students has been vividly prevalent over the years.  Dr. Olson's retirement is an especially saddening loss to the community and this community will never be the same without you Dr. Olson.  Thank you Dr. Olson for your exceptional dedication to the Prior Lake-Savage community.  You have touched many lives over the years and you made each life you touched better.
  • Dr. Olson is the perfect candidate for Ragan's Wall.  He has made a huge impact on the community and is the best principal any high school could ask for.  Dr. Olson always makes it a point to be involved with his students, and to get them involved as well.  There is not a single school sponsored event that I have attended without seeing him there enjoying the show or cheering on the team.  He is a principal who truly cares for all of his students' well-being, and makes that fact clear to them.  He works his hardest to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.  He also helps to run the Habitat for Humanity program through the school in order to give students the opportunity to help out less fortunate families in the surrounding communities.  There is not a single student at Prior Lake High School that has anything bad or critical to say about Dr. Olson.  His students care for him just as much as he cares for all of them.  Dr. Olson deserves above all other candidates to be awarded the honor of being on Ragan's Wall because he is a generous and admirable man that students can learn a lot from.
  • Dr. Olson's character, attitude, humor and generosity of time and talents for over 20 years have contributed immensely to the PLHS community.  His curiosity about learning, exploring and growing have been a role model that has inspired countless students and staff members on their journeys of discovery.
    In particular, his interest in preserving opportunities and encouragement for individual students has been outstanding.  He has been proud of our students accomplishments and successes in academics and activities and has supported efforts to challenge every students with academic rigor and high standards.  He gets equally excited about the accomplishments and successes of all students and staff.
    Dr. Olson ahs been a booster of opportunities of excellence for students across the range of potentials.  Every student needs challenges geared to their level of interest and abilities.  Dr. Olson has long been a strong advocate of the school's responsibility of providing those challenges for all students.  His personal background and experience with teaching in the Peace Corps has provided a rich source of stories and anecdotes for him to make reference to; but he has always sought to expand and grow his own knowledge and experiences outside of the formal classroom.  He has accompanied music groups on their travels, worked in the summers with the People to People student exchange program, and started the PLHS chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
    Students (and staff) are often impressed with his friendliness and eagerness to engage in conversation.  He can stop in the hall and talk with students about the music of the Grateful Dead or Metallica, then stop in a classroom to observe students studying the endocrine system.  Five minutes later, he'll be meeting with parents about a disciplinary concern or providing the district office with logical statements on the impact of proposed budgets on the curriculum and student learning.
    Few people have had as great an impact on the climate and community of Prior Lake High School as Dr. Craig Olson.  With great pride and honor, I submit his name for consideration to be part of Ragan's Wall.