Justice Page hires new principal

Shannon Tenner comes from Washburn High

Shannon Tenner
Shannon Tenner

The new principal of Justice Page Middle School at 50th & Nicollet was most recently an assistant principal at next-door Washburn High School.

Shannon Tenner began her job at Justice Page, Southwest Minneapolis’ largest middle school, on July 17.

She has been a paraprofessional, special education teacher, instructional coach and dean of students during her 20-year education career in Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools.

Tenner replaces four-year principal Erin Rathke, who has been named assistant superintendent of the Eastern Carver County School District.

Erin Rathke
Erin Rathke

In Rathke’s first year at Page, the school was renamed after former state Supreme Court justice and Minnesota Vikings football player Alan Page. It had previously been called Ramsey Middle School in honor of 19th-century Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey, who expelled the Dakota people from Minnesota and called for their extermination during the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War.

In June, a Change.org petition by former Edison High School student PJ Stebbings called for Rathke’s resignation on the grounds that she “weaponized” police officers at his graduation ceremony. Stebbings said he was arrested and escorted out of his graduation for smelling like marijuana, even though he hadn’t smoked.

In a statement posted on Eastern Carver County’s website, MPS said it investigated the incident and found there was no violation of district policy and that Rathke was not involved in the situation.

“We did not request Principal Rathke’s resignation, and the only reason we accepted it is because she has an opportunity we cannot provide in Minneapolis at this time,” the statement read. “She will be a strong leader in Eastern Carver County with a commitment to racial and educational equity, an unrelenting focus on students, and a growth mindset — for herself and for others.”

Rathke declined to comment on the petition, which has been taken down.