Bridget Hanlan awarded Leadership/Service Award

Erin Wood
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

Bridget Hanlan, director of the Adult Learning Center in Devils Lake, was awarded the 2021 North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning Outstanding Leadership/Service Award. The award was presented at the NDALL Conference Sept. 22-24.

Creating a successful and innovative center, Hanlan has gone above and beyond to reinvent the Region III Adult Learning Center in Devils Lake. Today it is one of the most successful centers in the state. She has been director of the ALC since 2018.

Bridget Hanlan, director of the Adult Learning Center in Devils Lake, was awarded the 2021 North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning Outstanding Leadership/Service Award.

Staff who work with Hanlan say her caring approach and intensity to turn each student’s struggle into success makes her stand above the crowd. One example of her attention to students is taking the initiative of implementing a position and course to tackle the issue of soft skills. Hanlan created a College and Career Readiness Specialist in her center.

“Her attentiveness to community, business and school allowed her to address concerns from agencies, school officials, employers and colleagues regarding the lack of soft skills demonstrated in students and young adults in the workforce,” her staff say. 

Bridget not only encourages learning in the center but also offers online options for students with schedules that do not mesh with the center’s hours.  She has reached out to civic and community clubs, raising money the last three years to ensure no students attending the Region III Adult Learning Center are burdened with any financial responsibility for testing. 

This honor isn’t the first for Hanlan. Her first position in the ALC was as an educator where she guided and taught each of her students on an individual level focusing on their specific needs, strengths, goals, and learning capacity. She was presented with the NDALL Educator of the Year Award in 2017.  In 2020, she was recognized during the Governor’s Summit for Innovative Education, earning the Innovative North Dakota Award for encouraging collaborative culture. 

To add to her list of achievements in an ever-trying year the Region III Adult Learning Center was honored when it was one of five selected pilot sites out of a pool of 250 for the COABE IBM Skills Build Initiative. 

“Bridget Hanlan strives each day in making a positive impact as director of the Region III Adult Learning Center by expanding her center to more than just a place to obtain a GED,” her staff say.