Staff Directory 10645316

Anthony Lonetree

Reporter | St. Paul education
Phone: 612-673-4109
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Anthony Lonetree has been covering St. Paul Public Schools and general K-12 issues for the Star Tribune since 2012-13. He began work in the paper's St. Paul bureau in 1987 and was the City Hall reporter for five years before moving to various education, public safety and suburban beats.


A lifelong music fan, Lonetree wrote the first Replacements stories to be published in a daily newspaper (St. Paul Dispatch) and now makes in-store mixes for a Northeast Minneapolis vintage clothing store -- with top sound sources. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, son and two dogs. He also has four daughters from an action-packed early life on St. Paul's East Side. He's a Ho-Chunk tribal member.
Recent content from Anthony Lonetree
A four-story addition to American Indian Magnet School is one of two projects that could get a green light from the St. Paul School Board. Above, seco

East Side elementaries top pared-down list for St. Paul school overhauls

With falling enrollment, board to scrutinize list of renovations.
State Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker will meet with Minnetonka’s superintendent about the district's enrollment policies.

Minnetonka schools' open enrollment under state scrutiny

State action comes after receiving evidence showing the district accepts nonresident students on a first-come, first-served basis, and without conducting lotteries.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Joe Gothard congratulated a member of the Central High School soccer team on Tuesday night.

St. Paul school board OKs new contract for Superintendent Joe Gothard

The vote puts him at the helm of the state's second-largest district for another three years — and with an $8,000 pay raise in the first year.
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Richfield school lunch-shaming spurs new call for state fix

The lunches were tossed because the students owed $15 or more, but the action was quickly halted when administrators became aware of the situation.
Zuki Ellis. shown at her swearing-in in 2016.

St. Paul group steps up fight against new charter schools

District board chairwoman signs onto the campaign seeking moratorium.
Students in Eden Prairie walked to board a school bus nicknamed "the secret bus," to attend class in the Minnetonka district in 2017.

Incumbents win in divisive Minnetonka school board race

The 11-candidate race focused on open enrollment was in contrast to 2015, when voters backed new funding for schools and four seats drew only four hopefuls.
In 2017, students in Eden Prairie walked to board a school bus nicknamed "the secret bus" to take them to class in the Minnetonka district.

Minnetonka school board race reveals divide over open enrollment

A crowded field for the first time includes challengers determined to rein in the district's aggressive use of open enrollment to attract students.

Competitive field vying for St. Paul school board seats

Two front-runners confront challenges as Election Day approaches.
In 2018, Rick Mickschl, left, and Isaac Stensland inspected work done on an addition at Humboldt High School in St. Paul.

St. Paul school district's facilities report details oversight concerns

It suggests few updates were provided as projects grew in scope, such as with Humboldt High work.
In 2018, Rick Mickschl, left, and Isaac Stensland inspected an addition at Humbolt High School in St. Paul. A makeover of the school initially was exp

St. Paul school district puts hold on building projects

First wave of building renovations came in millions of dollars more than projected.

St. Paul delays after-school programming due to shortage of bus drivers

Class work that was set to begin next Monday now will launch on Oct. 21.
Gov. Tim Walz, left, and actor and fitness trainer Jake Steinfeld chatted with student Yusuf Ali as he tried out E-STEM Middle School’s new fitness

'Every Monday should start like this': East metro school celebrates new $100K fitness center

A video helped their science-focused middle school land a new $100K fitness center. On Monday they celebrated.
"It wasn't a topic that hadn't been addressed before," Steve Marchese, the board's vice chairman, said of the proposal.

St. Paul school board's pay vote raises transparency questions

St. Paul Public Schools officials acknowledge the move should have been better publicized.

St. Paul school board eyes property tax levy increase of up to 5%, raises its pay

District had been awaiting state's number-crunching.
Aaron Benner

Former St. Paul teacher settles retaliation suit against district for $525,000

Aaron Benner said district retaliated against him for criticizing its discipline practices.

St. Paul schools avert $4 million penalty after union delays health insurance switch

The district and union also are in early talks on a new two-year contract.
From left, Abdirizak Alibos high-fived his twin sons, Rayan and Ridwan, before they went to start the second grade in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

A day of firsts marks opening day for Minnesota schools

The emphasis was on the new: New shoes. New start times. New principals. New clothes — even uniforms pulled together at the last minute.
Work continues on a multiyear renovation of Humboldt High School in St. Paul that is expected to wrap up in August 2020. Above, workers inspected an a

Slowdown for external review leaves five St. Paul schools projects on hold

Work continues at Humboldt, Como Park as district awaits external report on facilities plan.
The change in start times mean that high school students will start school at 8:30 a.m. starting this fall in the St. Paul schools. Above, Washington

St. Paul schools flip start times so teenagers can sleep in

Twenty-one elementary schools with nearly 10,000 students will start school an hour earlier to let the big kids occupy their old 8:30 a.m. start-time slot.
Aaron Benner

Former St. Paul teacher can seek punitive damages from district, judge rules

He's suing St. Paul district, alleging retaliation for criticizing discipline plan.
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard, left, and teachers union president Nick Faber, right, shown in 2018.

St. Paul teachers propose mediation in health-insurer dispute

School district has threatened to sue union.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Joe Gothard.

St. Paul's Gothard wins school board's support

The board announced it plans to begin negotiating renewal of the three-year contract that Joe Gothard signed in 2017.
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard left, and SPFT President Nick Faber talked outside of Hamline Elementary School Thursday June 21, 2018 in St. Paul

St. Paul School District threatens to sue unions over health-care dispute

The unions representing teachers, teaching assistants voted to leave HealthPartners mid-contract, which would trigger $4 million penalty.
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard, left, and SPFE President Nick Faber in 2018.

St. Paul teachers pitch compromise over health-care issue

Deal aimed at avoiding $4 million penalty for the school district.
St. Paul City Council Member Kassim Busuri is one of six candidates running for the Sixth Ward seat. Busuri initially pledged not to as a condition of

More than two dozen file for St. Paul City Council races

Another 10 filed for the four seats on the school board on the ballot in November.
FILE - A judge has allowed a lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District to move forward. The suit, filed by the group Gender Justice and the l

Case filed by Coon Rapids transgender student gets go-ahead

Judge rejects district's attempt to dismiss suit filed by transgender student.
Ian 'Fergie' Ferguson with his wife, Colleen Ferguson

'Fergie' Ferguson, legendary rock roadie, dies at age 74

Ian "Fergie" Ferguson was a guitar-tech legend who had the ears and trust of heavy metal heroes from Ritchie Blackmore to Yngwie Malmsteen to Kirk…
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard left, and SPFE President Nick Faber talked outside of Hamline Elementary School in June 2018.

St. Paul teachers' health insurance move threatens budget

Union vote puts district at risk of $4 million penalty from HealthPartners.
Principal Jocelyn Sims shows what will be an outdoor classroom for the School Forest Program.

Losing students, St. Paul aims for a middle school revival

Investments include a new school in Woodbury.
In 2018, Harding High School student Brendan Thor, 17, and other students played basketball at the Eastview Recreation Center in St. Paul.

St. Paul rec centers to lend a hand as school hours change

A free after-school program for students in grades 1 through 5 is being expanded.
Dr. Carlton Jenkins

Robbinsdale schools superintendent aims to ease discontent

Superintendent Carlton Jenkins had hoped he and his critics could "move on."
Joan Del Rio, Monroe High School class of 1976, on Tuesday night held a sign in protest against the proposed name change of the Linwood Monroe Arts Pl

St. Paul school board renames school that honored slave-owning president

Linwood Monroe Arts Plus to drop name of President James Monroe.
Some alumni want St. Paul’s Linwood Monroe Arts Plus to offer the community a greater say in the name change.

Monroe High alumni fight the proposed renaming of St. Paul's Linwood Monroe Arts Plus

St. Paul arts school plans to drop name of slave-owning president.
Nurses and their supporters picketed on the sidewalk outside Children's St. Paul and United Hospital on May 23, 2019, in St. Paul.

Children's Hospitals, nurses reach 3-year agreement

Teams representing the nurses and the hospitals met for 21 hours and agreed to address issues that included raises and the cost of health insurance.
St, Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard recently called for an outside review of the district’s facilities management practices.

As some St. Paul schools get fresh face, rising costs delay others

Rising costs led to outside review, too.
Longtime Central High School Principal Mary Mackbee was all smiles as she was driven off to a halftime ceremony in her honor last fall.

St. Paul's Central High to have interim leader in 2019-20

Two searches to replace Mary Mackbee have failed to produce the "right candidate," the superintendent wrote in a message to families.

For second time in two months, student brings loaded gun to St. Paul elementary school

An 8-year-old girl at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary found the gun when she looked into her backpack, police said.

Red Rock Central superintendent hospitalized after crash

Bruce Olson, 64 and nearing retirement, suffered a spinal cord injury, family says.
Jacobson

Fast-talking auctioneer and businessman Abner Jacobson dies at 93

He cut many deals, and yet his business partner, Jerry Peterson, could not recall anyone not liking him.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard said that much of the costs reflected changes in the scope of the respective projects. But he said

Amid rising facilities costs, St. Paul school district calls for outside review

With costs blowing past the district's early estimates, many residents elsewhere now must wait longer for improvements to buildings near them.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard

St. Paul schools teeter with budget deficit: 'We passed a referendum. We still have a deficit. What's up?'

District faces enrollment losses, a new strategic plan even with Legislature's boost in per-pupil funding.
In 2017, students walked to board a school bus nicknamed "the secret bus," taking them from Eden Prairie to attend the Minnetonka district.

Minnetonka's courting of nonresident students continues to fuel tension

The district says nonresident students, and the revenue they generate, are vital to its operations.
Ana Younker-Zimmerman, who was born without arms, was invited to Target Field to throw out a first pitch on April 26. Younker-Zimmerman, 19, excels at

An inspirational first pitch? St. Paul teen delivered for the Twins

A graduate of St. Paul's Humboldt High School, Ana Younker-Zimmerman, 19, excelled in adapted sports. So when the word went out that theTwins wanted an inspirational athlete to throw out the first pitch on April 26, she got the call.
Jackie Turner, chief engagement officer for Saint Paul public schools, at right in 2018.

St. Paul School District avoids tough talk about charter school competition

School board avoids moratorium talk, floats idea of working along with other campuses.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Joe Gothard said teacher coaches would be paid for with federal money.

St. Paul School District weighing hard choices on budget

Superintendent slices number of new teacher coaches to be hired.
Students, parents and supporters made a tunnel of support for faculty as they entered the school on Thursday, April 18, 2018 outside of Ramsey Element

Anoka-Hennepin parents rally for Ramsey teachers dealing with rising unruliness

More must be done to stop disruptive behavior at Ramsey Elementary, supporters say.
Higher Ground Academy, shown in 2010. The long-established charter school has a second campus in the works.

St. Paul officials debate ways to rein in growing charter schools

The St. Paul Federation of Educators has quizzed school board and City Council candidates about whether they would back a moratorium on charter school growth.
A wall of cigarettes in 2017 at a gas station in Edina, one of the Minnesota cities and counties that raised the legal age for tobacco use to 21.

St. Paul school board hears pitch to raise tobacco age

Thirty-one cities, counties have taken action to date.
St. Paul Central High School Principal Mary Mackbee was honored at halftime of the homecoming football game Sept. 29.

St. Paul Central's Mary Mackbee hears the praises

School auditorium to be named for educator of more than 50 years.

St. Paul schools still show gaps in student discipline

Report says black students last fall were suspended eight times more often than whites.
Rosie Johnsen

Rose Johnsen, pillar of St. Paul's Obb's Sports Bar & Grill, dies at 97

Johnsen, who for 60 years was a charming, no-nonsense presence at the East Side institution, Obb's Sports Bar & Grill, and whose name now adorns the boulevard sign near the crosswalk outside, died Feb. 18. She was 97, and retired for only two years.
Gov. Tim Walz has proposed a per-pupil funding boost.

St. Paul school district projects budget deficit for fifth year

The $2.9 million shortfall would be the district's fifth in a row.

St. Paul educators mark century of activism

Union local is recognized leader in "common good" bargaining.

St. Paul students aim to put teeth into ethnic studies

Nationally, the curriculum has been shown to improve grades and attendance.
A long-awaited move to push back middle- and high-school start times to 8:30 a.m. finally kicks in this fall in the St. Paul schools, but transporatio

St. Paul schools prepare to change start times in the fall

District officials work to ease parental concerns.
Teacher Anna Grussendorf helps kids with their English language at Mississippi Creative Arts School in St. Paul.

Push on at Capitol to help English language newcomers

The education of students learning to grasp the English language is getting fresh attention at the State Capitol — in no small part because of the fiscal pressures being placed on school districts facing budget shortfalls to cover ELL services.
Aaron Benner, a former St. Paul Public Schools teacher

Ex-teacher to fight St. Paul district's move to toss retaliation lawsuit

Aaron Benner sued St. Paul schools alleging retaliation.
Jesus Viveros, center, coached students (from the left) Mya Nay Paw, 12, Vanessa Diaz,13, and Alina Hong,12, during a Beyond Walls Urban Squash Twin C

Minn. youth program uses 'elite' sport of squash to open doors

Beyond Walls, operating out of the University of Minnesota's Recreation and Wellness Center, looks to sharpen skills and academics.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard, left, and Mayor Melvin Carter.

Ramsey County's big data plans come under fire as profiling

St. Paul mayor, superintendent join in ordering "pause" on new joint powers board.
Perpich Arts High School is eliminating dormitory fees for students who live 20 miles or more from the Golden Valley campus, starting in the 2019-2020

Perpich Arts High School offers new dorm fees deal to boost enrollment

The enrollment incentive would ease costs for teens outside the metro.
Connell

Daniel Connell, craft beer expert who ran marathons, dies at 35

Daniel Connell ran nine marathons, and after each one he vowed to never do it again."It's just too much," the Rev. Jerry Fehn quoted him…
Benner

St. Paul schools move again to have former teacher's lawsuit tossed

Ex-teacher critical of board claims retaliation after series of investigations.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard, pictured in January, presented his SPPS Achieves strategic plan to school board members this week.

St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard details strategic plan for school district

Middle schools to be an area of focus, he has said.
Some Minnesota school leaders raised concerns at the proposal by President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Trump panel advocates rescinding Obama-era school discipline rules

The proposal to return suspension policy stirs debate in Minnesota.
Ramsey County Board Chairman Jim McDonough reminded attendees at a Truth in Taxation hearing that the county is a “safety net” for people in need

Property taxes climbing, but needs are many, activists say

Many residents applaud investments, but new hikes raise concerns, too.
In June, St. Paul teachers union President Nick Faber, left, and St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke with Keely Young-Dixon about schools in St.

St. Paul's student numbers on the decline

Drop in students for 2018-19 comes despite well-publicized campaign.

Osseo transgender student alleges harassment over bathroom use

Video posted online shows door to stall being opened by adults outside.

'Laser Week' light shows planned at St. Paul's Como Planetarium

St. Paul Public Schools is combining classic rock music and laser lights in a weeklong series of planetarium shows that will run Monday night through Saturday.

Police investigating alleged assault of St. Paul assistant principal by student

In St. Paul, court cases have gone from 15 in 2015 to 2 so far this year.
Nell Pierce used puppets to tell a story to preschoolers as part of the Early Bridges program at the Pre-K at Rondo learning hub.

Storytelling skills being built at early age in St. Paul

Rondo-area preschoolers draw inspiration from guest artists.
St. Paul schools Superintendent Joe Gothard signed off on a series of improvements to the district's program for English language learners as part of

St. Paul schools move to strengthen English language services

St. Paul schools plan is part of a settlement with parents of Karen students.
Superintendent Joe Gothard had lunch with kids at Obama Elementary in St. Paul on the first day of school.

St. Paul Public Schools has plan to better engage with parents

District has a plan it says will help parents' feedback be handled better.

Twin Cities metro districts win in high-stakes school levy votes

The message was direct, “Vote Yes for Kids,” and on Tuesday, the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul delivered for their school districts. Voters backed…
St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard

Costs eyed as St. Paul superintendent builds his leadership team

Creation of two new jobs, rewriting of a third, comes as levy vote approaches.
This year students in Ashley Wilke's AP psychology class will be required to pay a $60 fee to take their AP tests at the end of class if they want to

Metro school districts go to voters to right fiscal ships

Levies in Mpls., St. Paul and suburbs would boost taxes, steady district finances.