New principals announced for three Southwest schools
BRYN MAWR — Three Southwest-area schools will start the 2008–2009 school year with new principals, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) announced in May.
The new school leaders are Renee Montegue at Bryn Mawr Community School, Cecilia Saddler at Anwatin Middle School and Mary Rynchek at Lake Harriet Community School.
Montegue was most recently assistant principal at City View Performing Arts Center and will replace retiring Bryn Mawr Principal Jim Lemmer. She began her career with MPS in 1994 as an elementary school teacher and also has served as a behavioral specialist, mentor and assistant principal at Sheridan Global Communication School.
Saddler was reassigned to Anwatin from Folwell Middle School, where she also served as principal. She joined the district in 1995 as a teacher and also has served as an assistant principal at Folwell and South High School.
Former Anwatin Principal Beth Russell will work as a principal on special assignment with a focus on professional
Rynchek’s assignment brings her back to Lake Harriet where she served as an intern assistant principal and teacher from 2000 to 2007. She served as Anwatin’s assistant principal last school year, and also has worked as a teacher at Jefferson Elementary School and Audobon Elementary School.
Rynchek takes over from former Principal Marsha Seltz, who retired during the 2007–2008 school year. Hank Taxis served as interim principal at the school.
Office space proposals call for sale of Lehmann Center
THE WEDGE — Minneapolis Public Schools is planning for its future administrative office space needs, and it appears more likely than ever it won’t be hanging on to a major Uptown property.
The Lehmann Education Center, 1006 W. Lake St., would be sold in all of the future administrative office space scenarios presented to the Board of Education June 10. Chief of Operations Steve Liss acknowledged after the meeting that the district probably would sell the building but added no decisions would be made until fall or later.
Board members have noted in the past the Lehmann Education Center’s desirable Uptown address would be attractive to developers. That’s a strong incentive to sell for a district struggling with a budget deficit.
Another reason to unload the building is it just never worked well for the district. Liss has noted that its awkward, sprawling layout made it a less than ideal setting for offices and classrooms.
Lehmann is home base for the district’s Adult Basic Education offices. Two programs once housed in the building — Uptown Academy and Wellstone International High School — moved out at the end of the school year. Uptown closed and Wellstone will relocate to Ramsey High School.
The building is one of four district properties included in the ongoing administrative offices planning study, but it is the only one located in Southwest.
District officials are currently considering selling two, three or all four of the buildings. The district would then lease or buy new office space, or lease space in one of the sold buildings.
The preliminary report was included in the agenda packet for the June 10 Board of Education meeting and is available at www.mpls.k12.mn.us/Board_of_Education.html.
Lake Harriet students raise funds for China earthquake victims
FULTON — Students at the Lake Harriet Community School Upper Campus raised more than $530 for earthquake relief efforts in China, parent Kathryn
Bauermeister said the funds would be used to help children who were orphaned in the massive earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in May, as well as children living in orphanages that were damaged in the disaster. The funds will pay for food, foster care and medical care for the children.
Bauermeister is the executive director of the nonprofit Wishing Dream Foundation and will use connections with aid groups in China to get the supplies where they are most needed, she said.
Bauermeister’s daughter was adopted from China, and her fifth-grade classroom raised more than half of the funds, about $360.
Eighth graders screen documentary at Smithsonian
FULTON — A documentary produced by two Lake Harriet Community School students was shown June 18 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., National History Day organizers reported.
Eighth-grade students Becca Mattson and Emma Peacha Singer produced “Reserving Lake Superior” for this year’s National History Day competition.
The documentary recounts the story of an early victory for environmentalists in the nation’s courts. A 1970s lawsuit forced Silver Bay’s Reserve Mining Company to stop dumping waste rock into Lake Superior, which opponents said posed health risks for nearby residents and environmental concerns for the lake.
Mattson and Peacha Singer were among 2,300 National History Day finalists in competition at the University of Maryland June 15–19.