Central District ACE Award

Robert Dockendorf

Big Lake, MN

Nominated & Presented by: Mary Ebanks, former choral director at Big Lake High School

The ACDA of MN Central District is pleased to present the Advocate for Choral Excellence Award to Mr. Robert Dockendorf, Principal at Big Lake High School in Big Lake, MN. Mr. Dockendorf, or Doc as he is better known, has been a public school administrator for 24 years, and taught elementary education for eight years. He was also named the 2019 Principal of the Year for the Central Minnesota Association for Secondary School Principals. Doc and his wife Paula have been married for 29 years. His daughter Emily is 24 and teaches special ed at Tatanka Elementary in Buffalo, MN, and his son Blake is 22 and working on his internship as a microbiologist in Bemidji, MN.

Doc was in music all of his educational years as a student, and sang for weddings when he was a younger adult.

During my nine years at Big Lake Schools, Doc consistently and passionately supported the fine arts program, especially the choir ensembles, and diligently fought for as many music opportunities for students as possible. In his words, he believes, “the fine arts, specifically music and choir, are a part of the core of who we are as human beings. Music is inspirational, relational, and never exclusionary. It is very much needed in the development of young individuals and, in many ways, it gets left out of the discussion of what’s important in education today. I have seen music and the fine arts bring a community together. The fine arts are crucial to our future!”

Congratulations Doc, the well-deserved Central District recipient of this year’s ACE Award!