District: Whittier principal misused funds

Anne DePerry resigned her position in November

WHITTIER — An internal Minneapolis Public Schools investigation found a magnet school principal misused a district-issued purchase card.

Former Whittier International Elementary School Principal Anne DePerry “misused public taxpayer funds,” according to a Nov. 20 letter to parents from Chief of Schools Michael Thomas. DePerry, who left the school abruptly in October, acknowledged in a letter of resignation shared with Whittier parents that she used her purchase card for expenses “that were inappropriate, personal in nature and unbecoming” a principal.

“Due to personal reasons and excessive student loan debt over the past year, I found myself in dire financial circumstances,” DePerry explained in letter to interim Superintendent Michael Goar, dated Nov. 2. According to the letter, she resigned effective Nov. 10.

“I am deeply sorry to the students, families and staff at Whittier for my mistake, which in turn causes me to have to leave so abruptly,” she wrote.

The district has not yet responded to a request for DePerry’s spending records.

DePerry was named principal at Whittier in 2012. In her letter to parents, she said she worked in the district for 22 years.

In October, the district brought in retired principal Karen Pederson to lead K–8 magnet school in DePerry’s absence. Thomas’ letter to Whittier families states the district “will work closely with the Whittier community to hire a new principal.”

A leadership profile outlining the desired characteristics of the school’s next principal is posted on the school’s website.