Staff Directory 381858611

Faiza Mahamud

Reporter | Minneapolis Public Schools
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: Kiswahili and Somali

Faiza Mahamud is an education reporter covering Minneapolis Public Schools, the state's third-largest school district. Previously, she was a reporter and associate editor at Mshale, the largest African community newspaper in Minnesota. Since joining the Star Tribune, Mahamud has covered immigrant communities, city government and neighborhoods. 


Mahamud graduated from Augsburg University in Minneapolis with a bachelor's degree in journalism and women's studies and a minor in chemistry. She also received extensive journalism training from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, where she worked as a student radio reporter. Currently, Mahamud is pursuing a master's degree at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is passionate about domestic and foreign affairs and enjoys interacting with people from different cultures and religious backgrounds.
Recent content from Faiza Mahamud
Brenda Cassellius.

Brenda Cassellius is finalist for superintendent jobs in Boston, Michigan

Cassellius said she wants to be in a place where there's an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of diverse populations and poor kids.
Herandez Cortez Evans

Former Minneapolis teacher accused of using corporal punishment could lose license

Herandez Cortez Evans, who will go before the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board on Friday, allegedly struck, squeezed students.
Lucy Laney Principal Mauri Friestleben, shown in 2017 with Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff.

Film chronicles Minneapolis school's struggle, shines spotlight on students

"Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary School," will be shown as part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.
Ninth-grader Lennox Lisley poured maple sap into a bucket at South High School in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Mpls. South teacher, students find lessons in battling Park Board

American Indian students kicked off maple syruping season with pride, passing on cultural teaching.
Crystal and six of her seven children are homeless and living temporarily at the People Serving People. Here, Crystal and Nashya, 12, talk at PSP in M

Bold plan forms in Minneapolis to help homeless schoolchildren

Minneapolis is launching its most aggressive effort yet to help homeless students succeed in school at a time when homelessness in Minnesota is at a record high.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff

Minneapolis school board renews contract for superintendent

Ed Graff's deal received unanimous approval from the school board.
Jolene McGregor

Child advocate Jolene Christina McGregor dies at 39

Jolene Christina McGregor, a St. Paul native who championed education and advocated for orphaned children, died unexpectedly during surgery in a New York hospital on…
North High coach Larry McKenzie lead his team in prayers before a game against Southwest at North High School Tuesday February 12, 2019 in Minneapolis

Minneapolis North High parents and staff rally around students affected by gun violence

Parent, school and community leaders rally around North High students affected by gun violence
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Anoka-Hennepin School District, accusing the state’s largest school system of violating the constitutiona

Parent of transgender teen files suit alleging bias at Coon Rapids High

Discrimination alleged at Coon Rapids High School.
A group of Patrick Henry High School students left class and marched for stricter gun laws Friday.

Minneapolis Patrick Henry High students stage walkout for stricter gun laws

About 10 left classrooms and headed to a flagpole on Victory Memorial Parkway.
Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff

New deal could bump Mpls. superintendent's salary to $230,000

Mpls. board is expected to vote on superintendent's 3-year contract in March.

Two people killed in a crash on icy Hwy. 61 in Wabasha County have been ID'd

The head-on crash involved a pickup and a semitrailer truck, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Makai Bettaglio juggled as he practiced circus routines at the City of Lakes Waldorf School, which was in session on Thursday.

After breaking for cold, students and parents ready for normalcy

Most of the big public school districts around the metro area are expected to reopen Friday. Gov. Tim Walz promises no penalties over any lost days.
Emerson Spanish Immersion after school Focus for Success student Rosie Russell uses neurofeedback: NASA-inspired computer games by Play Attention that

Minneapolis teacher uses brain games to hone students' focus

NASA-inspired after-school program helps kids boost their attention spans.
School resource officer Drea Leal, of the Minneapolis Police Department, greeted a student in the hall on Friday at Roosevelt High.

Despite criticism, Minneapolis schools say officers have a role

Minneapolis principals say officers' presence in schools can be positive, but concerns over the role persist.
Kimberly Caprini was sworn in to the Minneapolis school board on Tuesday. Also sworn in was Josh Pauly.

Two new members join the Minneapolis school board

Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly were sworn in, offering a fresh start for the state's third-largest school system and a chance to set priorities.
The Minneapolis school district’s revenue is growing at a slow pace because of its plunging enrollment. Above, students walked to their buses in the

Mpls. schools audit shows improvement but concerns for future

Declining enrollment and low reserves counter positive news on raising revenue, paring deficit.
John Schevenius

John Schevenius, longtime missionary to Africa, dies at 92

John Theodore Schevenius put others' needs before his and cherished his time with his family.As a longtime missionary and tireless humanitarian, Schevenius lived to serve…
Minneapolis South High student leaders on the art project are, from left, Carlos Ortiz, Nykia Williams and Tiger Worku.

Minneapolis South students use art, dialogue to heal relationship with police

A recent workshop shared concerns about safety and their knowledge of constitutional rights.
Gaby Haire, left, and Jennifer Day.

University of Minnesota students, activists press Minneapolis School District to offer free menstrual products

Leaders of Period.MN hope to launch a pilot program for students in need.
Apple Valley High School social studies teacher Dennis Draughn helped seniors students prepare for their upcoming AP psychology final during a study h

Schools struggle with widening student and teacher racial gap

Minnesota's student body is rapidly becoming more diverse, while the teaching force remains mostly white.
Retired Justice Alan Page listened to a question by Junior Page Scholar E'Rayah Shaw during a celebration for Page at Justice Page Middle School after

Alan Page brings his new presidential medal to Mpls. school named after him

Page celebrates Presidential Medal of Freedom by naming Page Scholars at namesake school.
Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff greeted students as they made their way into Jenny Lind Elementary School on the first day of school, Monday, Augu

Minneapolis School District returns to post-Labor Day start to school year

The school board approved the change, which starts next fall, after hearing from parents.
Some Minneapolis students are delayed in getting home due to bus problems, district officials said.

Gas leak led to 'significant' bus delays for some Minneapolis Public Schools students

A gas leak delayed afternoon transportation for more than 1,000 Minneapolis students.
Minneapolis school board candidates spoke at a recent forum. From left to right they are, Kimberly Caprini, moderator Pam Telleen, Sharon el-Amin, Reb

Minneapolis school board race: How to stop district's enrollment decline

Minneapolis school board candidates discuss ways to attract students.
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.
Gilbert Louis Baldwin

Gilbert Baldwin, business owner and passionate photographer, dies at 69

Baldwin died Sept. 19 at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville a month after his cancer was diagnosed.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff

Minneapolis schools chief gets high marks in job review

Ed Graff was lauded at school board meeting by his bosses for meeting expectations in each of his top five priority areas.
Cafeteria workers as well as special-ed instructional help and bus drivers are among the areas where Minnesota school districts are seeing worker shor

Shortage of workers hampering some Minnesota schools

Programs in districts all over the state are being hit.
Minneapolis school board candidates spoke at a forum Tuesday night. Pictured from left to right are, Kimberly Caprini, moderator Pam Telleen, Sharon e

Funding, achievement gaps at issue for Minneapolis school board candidates

It was the first of two forums scheduled before Election Day.
School board will release its evaluation of Superintendent Ed Graff in October.

Graff may be graded on Minneapolis school operations

Board proposed new goal to be included in superintendent's review.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff is now stepping into his third year as the leader of the state’s third-largest school district.

Minneapolis weighs in on Superintendent Ed Graff before school board grades his performance

At Wednesday's committee meeting, his school board bosses will discuss how to create a process for evaluating him.
Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff said the district is working diligently to fill the positions “with the same level of high quality staff.”

Supply isn't meeting demand: Minneapolis schools scramble to fill special-ed staff vacancies

Supply and demand for specialized teachers and assistants don't match up in a strong labor market.
Gov. Mark Dayton poses for photos with students at Carver Elementary in Maplewood.

First day for most Minnesota school districts was a full one

Spruced-up school buildings and a visit from Gov. Mark Dayton among opening day highlights.
“It’s heartbreaking. Weve never stopped celebrating our successes regardless of a state designation. We just saw the state designation as a final

Students at Minneapolis school improving but not as much as first thought

The Minneapolis School District has made a reporting error about Lucy Craft Laney School.
New Principal Pao Vue greeted students inside their classrooms at Jenny Lind Elementary School on the first day of school, Monday, August 27, 2018 in

Classes resume for thousands of Minneapolis Public School students

Yellow buses lined up in front of Jenny Lind Elementary School in Minneapolis early Monday morning, as hundreds of students filed into the building and…
Minneapolis school Superintendent Ed Graff, left high-fived Jonah Gunderman a member of the Gems and Gise drum group after giving his State of the Sch

Mpls. schools chief plays drums, stresses partnerships at kick-off

Mpls. superintendent stresses partnership before $30M request.
A crowd cheered a speaker at a Minneapolis school board meeting in April where opposition was raised to proposed budget cuts at individual schools.

Two seats up for grabs in Minneapolis school board race

The race for the citywide seats has touched on equity issues, budget strife, a referendum and steering the district into the future.
Kindergarten teacher Gus Gleiter started getting his classroom set up on his first day back at school at Prodeo Academy in Minneapolis last week.

Charter schools are facing growing pains

As demand increases, schools are struggling to find buildings with room to grow.
Tim Harris hugged Minneapolis officer Dean Milner at Minnehaha Academy on the anniversary of the explosion that rocked the school Thursday Aug. 2, Min

Hundreds gather at Minnehaha Academy, a year after deadly explosion

It was the first time since the blast that such a large crowd returned to the site after the 2017 explosion that killed two.

Abducted Fergus Falls woman found safe, suspect in custody

A male suspect is in custody, authorities say.
Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto and park officials Mary Merrill and Abdirahman Mukhtar met with families of the boys.

Minneapolis Park Board launching review council after viral video of cuffed teens

The new advisory council will help guide the park police and park leaders in developing police policies, board president says.
Corey David Burfield

Judge orders probe into student charged with brutally beating Minneapolis teaching aide

Plea may come after probation officer completes investigation.
Emily Lilja Palmer

Washburn High has a new principal: Emily Lilja Palmer

She replaces Rhonda Dean, who abruptly resigned in June.
Ahmed Burhan Mohamed was greeted and congratulated at the Mall of America.

Qur'an contest a defining event for mild-mannered New Brighton teen

Ahmed Burhan Mohamed has become an overnight sensation in the Muslim world and a local celebrity after winning a prestigious international contest last month recognizing the best reciter of the Qur'an.

Learning for Leadership charter school in Minneapolis forced to close

K-12 school struggled for years to meet state performance goals in reading, math.

Multiple Minn. districts take steps to reduce school discipline disparity

So far, 20 state districts say they'll review how misbehavior is addressed.

Minneapolis school board approves trimmed budget

Deep cuts made to administration, schools to wipe out $33 million gap in one year.
Layla Larsen, 9, a fourth-grader at Sioux Trail Elementary School in Burnsville laughed as she read with therapy dog Arthur, a 5-year-old English spri

Therapy dog helps Burnsville students master reading

Placing well-trained therapy dogs in schools has become part of a national and global effort to help kids who struggle with reading.
Rhonda Dean

Minneapolis Washburn High principal announces she will step down

Minneapolis Washburn High School Principal Rhonda Dean, who has struggled to balance relationships with district officials and parents, announced Friday that she will resign effective…
Mohammed Dukuly is hospitalized after being seriously injured by a student at Harrison Education Center in Minneapolis

Student arrested in beating of school aide freed without bail

Mohammed Dukuly no longer needed life support and sat up in his hospital bed and smiling two days after the attack at the Minneapolis school where he works.
Corey David Burfield, 18, of St. Paul.

Student, 18, charged in severe beating of Mpls. school staffer

The paraprofessional remains in critical condition with head injuries that left him unconscious.
Second graders Aaliyah Xiong, left, and Sarah Lor compare books after the book fair.

Minneapolis schools launch summer reading campaign

Mpls. school officials launch summer reading program with free books.
Laker gymnasts placed seventh at the state meet in 2012 and have a consecutive streak of sending individual athletes to the meet.

Gymnasts circulating petition urging changes from Prior Lake-Savage school district

Members of Laker team started an online petition to move from the middle school into the high school.
Superintendent Ed Graff listened during a meeting in April when parents, students, staff and teachers upset about proposed budget cuts to their indivi

Latest Minneapolis school budget proposal raises equity questions

Officials try to balance $33 million shortfall with calls for fairness in district.
Patrick Henry High School freshman Janaan Ahmed, left, and senior Farhiyo Hassan presented in favor of changing the high school's name during the site

Debate brewing over whether to rename Patrick Henry High

Some students and staff at Patrick Henry High object to having school bear name of the Revolutionary War-era leader who also owned slaves.
St. Paul School Superintendent Joe Gothard said if the district and its supporters fail to persuade voters to invest more in their schools, “the lik

Chronic deficits dog Minneapolis, St. Paul schools

Districts say state, federal aid falling short, so voters will be asked to come through with more money.
Ashley Ortega-Cano, a freshman at Southwest High School, speaks during the public comment period about potential cuts to a Chicano Latino cultural stu

Minneapolis parents, students protest school budget cuts

Prospect of cutting 300 to 400 jobs has raised alarm among teachers and parents, who pleaded with school board members.
Hundreds of educators, families and community members rallied outside of the Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters on West Broadway in February.

Minneapolis teachers union ratifies new contract

The two-year agreement, which came after 10 months of talks, calls for a 0.5 percent pay increase.
Exterior view of Blake School

Student sues Blake School over suspension for groping allegations

Accusations against student surfaced at a February school dance.
Thousands of high school students march to the state Capitol in St. Paul after they walked out of their schools on March 7 to protest gun violence and

What to expect for Saturday's Minnesota March for Our Lives

St. Paul protest is one of 13 Minnesota marches against gun violence planned for Saturday.
Parents said goodbye to students who gathered at the Northside Achievement Zone and board a bus for Washington on Wednesday to attend the March for Ou

Minn. students head off to D.C. march to make voices heard on guns

More than 100 students from several Minnesota schools will be in Washington to join a national protest calling for gun control.
Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, left, leaves the Hennepin County Government Center after a pretrial hearing.

When hired, Mohamed Noor was welcome addition to Minneapolis police

Noor, 31, was one of nine Somali officers in the department and the first to patrol the Fifth Precinct.
About 50 parents, neighbors and friends of students at Dowling Elementary in Minneapolis, joined hands in silence for 17 minutes outside the school.

Minn. students join walkout demanding stricter gun laws

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter arrived at Harding High to show his support chanting, "Books not bullets!" along with students.
Thousands of St. Paul high school students walked out of their schools earlier this month and marched to the State Capitol. Students across Minnesota

What to expect for today's 10 a.m. #ENOUGH National School Walkout

A 17-minute walkout event commemorates one-month anniversary of Florida school shooting.
Rita LaBore

Obituary: Robbinsdale school nurse Rita LaBore 'made people feel valued'

Rita LaBore, a longtime school nurse at Robbinsdale Area Schools, had a soft spot for children.In her 23 years as a school nurse, the former…
Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Ed Graff

Tentative Minneapolis teachers contract deal reached, sources say

Sunday night's mediation sessions broke a deadlock that followed numerous talks over several months.
Nicole Benson of Highland Park Senior High led students in chants for gun control on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, March 7. Several hundred s

Student walkouts have districts toeing line over policy, rights

Schools work to balance safety and policy with First Amendment rights.
St. Paul high school students walked out of their schools and marched to the State Capitol on Wednesday to protest gun violence.

Hundreds of students walk out, protest gun violence at Capitol

Schools around St. Paul joined forces and spread the word on social media about the march.
Robert Gerhart

Osseo schools chairman resigns amid furor over alleged racist comments

He faced angry reaction to comments he allegedly made on social media.
Attorney Erick Kaardal was an attorney representing students Nick Spades, Elizabeth Ebner, Jazmine Edmond, Tatum Buyse and Ana Doval in the case.

Edina school district settles free-speech lawsuit

Conservative student group accused district of violating free speech.
Checking it out: Students from Minneapolis South High School toured the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul on Tuesday, when the state announced

High school graduation rates hit record high in Minnesota

In Minneapolis, the overall graduation rate dipped by one percentage point; St. Paul graduation rates inched up one point. A wide gap between white students and students of color persists.
Chris Endicott was arrested after being found in a fish house.

Lakeville principal, charged with stalking, also faces burglary charge

Lakeville school official was previously charged with stalking detective.
Robert Gerhart, Osseo School Board chair

Osseo school board chair wants armed volunteers to patrol schools

Robert Gerhart, board chair of one of the metro area's largest school districts, floated the idea Tuesday, saying he's tired of all the talk but no action about protecting students.
A parent walks his child to Orono Schumann Elementary School as a police officer stands nearby as students arrived Thursday, a day after a lockdown an

Threats, student arrest, lockdown leave Orono shaken

One student was charged with making threat that led to lockdown of schools. Also, two other districts reported possible threats had been investigated.
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