Prestigious award to MOT school in Norway


The MOT school Sandnessjøen upper secondary school won Dronning Sonjas skolepris (translated: the school award of Queen Sonja) for their longstanding work with inclusion and creating a good learning environment.

This award is given to a school where children and youth experience an academic, cultural and social community. In 2021 the award was presented to a MOT school that is very proud of the recognition: Sandnessjøen upper secondary school.

– The award is an acknowledgment that what we do gives results. We get positive feedback from both students, staff, and the local community. They feel taken care of, says the school’s principal, Arne Tømmervold.

– A good role model

The jury reasoning reads:

PRESTIGIOUS AWARD: Student council leader, Ida Olsen-Dahlen, recieves Queen Sonja’s award from the Queen herself. Photo: Marius Guttormsen, iSandnessjøen.

«Sandnessjøn upper secondary is exceptional in their continuous work towards creating inclusion and a good learning environment. They are a good role model on how a school can be a prominent and relevant contributor to the local environment”.


The queen herself was present during the award ceremony, and was given a presentation about the school environment and participation in the MOT programme “Robust Youth 16-25”.

– MOT is a part of the reason why we have reached this point. We are proud to be a MOT school! I wish more upper secondary schools in northern Norway get to discover how good it is. The staff feels ownership of MOT and the MOT philosophy has become the backbone of the school, says MOT-coach and teacher Tor Kenneth Rostad.

Sandnessjøen upper secondary has approximately 450 youth and has been a MOT school since 2010. When the reinforcement programme “School as a society builder” was launched in 2017, the school started to work systematically with the MOT concept among the staff. Through presentations and activities are both principals, staff, and the community involved in building an inclusive class environment – and a warmer society.

– A place for youth to blossom

During the visit, Dronning Sonja said:

– I can see that you blossom when everything is arranged for you to be yourself, do what gives you joy, and make you want to continue to learn and be at the school. I understand that you want to be at this school! It is incredible to read about everything you do, and it is what you do, not what you say that counts.

Extremely proud

MOT Norway is extremely proud of having Sandnessjøen upper secondary as a MOT school. They have worked comprehensively and continuously over many years and have been faithful to MOT’s programmes. The staff at the school has got unique energy, and there is no doubt about the fact that the school passionately burns for including and strengthening youth.

PROUD TRIO: Student council leader Ida Olsen-Dahlen (to the left), school environment worker Ken Pettersen and principal Arne Tømmervold. Photo: Jørgen Nilsen