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Principal Update


5.2.14 Update:

Dear Washburn families,

I am pleased to announce Rhonda Dean, current Andover High School principal, as Washburn High School’s next principal. This is exciting news for the Washburn school community and for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). I plan to share Ms. Dean’s selection with school staff and families today.

Our search extended nationally, but our ultimate pick is a strong educational leader who already has ties to MPS. Ms. Dean has over 20 years of experience in secondary education, serving in school administrative roles, most recently as the principal of Andover High School in Andover for six years. Ms. Dean shows the type of character and leadership qualities that will foster an environment of high educational standards and collaboration, as well as place great value on learning.

Prior to her leadership in Andover, Ms. Dean served 11 years as assistant principal of Wayzata High School in Plymouth and two years as an administrator at MPS’ South High School and Benjamin Banneker School. Ms. Dean began her educational career as a mathematics teacher, serving Benjamin Banneker students for four years.

Ms. Dean holds a superintendent license and a principal license obtained with coursework from St. Mary’s University, where she also received her Master of Arts degree in educational administration. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business education from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.

We are eager for the Washburn school community to meet Ms. Dean. Naming her principal now gives the staff and families time to get to know her and prepare for a strong start of the 2014-15 school year.

I appreciate the input of all who participated in the principal selection process. I want to thank Washburn’s site leadership team and the school-based interview team for their time and commitment to helping us find a great leader for the school.

I also want to recognize Interim Principal Linda Conley and Assistant Principal Nilo Guanzon for their leadership during the current school year. Washburn’s school year has been solid; it is clear that students and staff have been focused on learning. I commend Washburn staff members for their hard work and focus, which will help us finish out the school year on a positive note.

Washburn is in a good place to continue realizing the vision of a strong school for students. I am excited for Ms. Dean’s arrival and look forward to Washburn’s continued success.


Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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4.4.14 Update:

Dear Families, Staff and Students of Washburn:

I am pleased to inform you that the process for selecting a new principal is moving along. The school-based interview team has met with three candidates so far and we look forward to potentially interviewing a few additional candidates who may come forward in the next 1-2 weeks. This means we are adjusting our preliminary timeline by about three weeks.

Our initial goal was to have a candidate selected this spring, allowing them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the community and school staff prior to the next school year. We are still on track to meet this goal. An adjusted timeline that incorporates interview time for these additional candidates is available here.

Cecilia M. Saddler, Associate Superintendent


2.20.14 Update:

We are pleased to be on-track with the search for Washburn’s next school leader. We appreciate the input of all who have been participating in this process. Currently, 30 candidates who are eligible for the principalship have expressed interest in the position. We are eager to learn more about these candidates as we continue to make progress in the search.With the input of staff, families and students, we are close to finalizing the Principal Profile, which identifies the desired characteristics the Washburn school community wishes to see in their next leader. This will help us find a great match for Washburn’s needs.The school-based interview team  is now fully trained in their roles and beginning the week of February 24, we will schedule training sessions with alternate members of the team, who will fill in as necessary. The school-based interview team is made up of school staff, parents, students and administrators.We will continue to keep you updated on the principal search. 

Cecilia M. Saddler, Associate Superintendent