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
Professor Gerhard Weiss

Gerhard Weiss, scholar and retired University of Minnesota German professor, dies at 93

  Gerhard Weiss had a knack for telling stories. Not just any stories, but those from his experience as a Holocaust survivor and growing up…
From left, Mohammedamin Kahin, Mukhtar Yusuf, and Mahamud Sharif Abdi on Friday at Village Market mall discussed their reactions to President Donald T

Somali-Minnesotans wonder about their welcome after Trump's speech

Somali-Minnesotans, GOP hear different messages in Trump's speech.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN

Trump's visit stokes fear, anxiety among Somalis

Trump's visit to Minneapolis for a campaign rally spurred anxiety and fear for many.
Mari Mansfield, right, a special education assistant at Roosevelt High School, cheered at a rally on June 12, 2019, for higher wages for educational s

School aides leaving Mpls. for better paying districts, union says

District leaders say union's demands would add $35M over two years to budget.
Rosie Harris, a senior at PYC Arts & Technology High School, and other students marched to Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters Friday to ask for c

North Minneapolis students call for action on climate change

They met with the district superintendent and demanded climate-change instruction in every grade.
Ibrahima Diop is the chief financial officer for the Minneapolis school district.

Minneapolis property owners will pay less for schools in 2020

School board members are expected to take the final action on the tax levy in December.
Artist Flahn Manly painted a work he called “My Brother’s Keeper” at the Guns Down Love Up Unity Festival at Bethune Park in Minneapolis. “We

Guns Down Love Up Unity Festival calls for healing, an end to gun violence

Festival in Minneapolis was about unity, healing, and ending gun violence.
Protesters gathered Friday at the Capitol in St. Paul to protest climate change inaction.

'Get the job done': Minnesota students call for climate action

Several thousand young people emptied local classrooms on Friday as part of a coordinated global movement seeking greater government action on climate change.
Four buildings on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas were closed for several hours after the report of a bomb threat on Tuesday.

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul contends with third bomb threat this year

Nothing suspicious was found, but the investigation continues.

Minneapolis School District wins an appellate court ruling on a wrongful termination case

Former teacher had filed a whistleblower lawsuit.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff, shown last year.

Revamped strategic plan for Minneapolis schools targets racial inequities

Superintendent Ed Graff shifts priorities while also seeking to delay the board's final vote on the plan from December to April.

Lawsuit: Lakeville school's failure to treat student's asthma led to brain damage

The district denies responsibility for the student's injuries.
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.
It was a blessing, said Ahmed Ali, who has cerebral palsy.

Mpls. student's unique graduation speech reverberates locally, outside U.S.

Ahmed Ali has given interviews to media outlets across the world and has spoken at several back-to-school kickoff events, where he urged teachers to learn from students with disabilities.
Superintendent Ed Graff spoke to teachers at the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers 59 headquarters in Minneapolis in May.

Minneapolis School District enrollment continues to decline

Nearly 1,500, mostly students of color, left the district last year.
Sue Poston and Terry Bjorklund look up at the support beam with signatures from alumni, students, teachers and board members.

Early homecoming for Minnehaha Academy students, staff who were displaced by deadly blast

Two years after deadly blast, Minnehaha Academy celebrates its new upper campus.
In a two-day workshop at the Wells Fargo Connections Center in Minneapolis on July 24-25, teachers from the Minnesota cohort of schools and volunteers

Minnesota students to build solar suitcases to light up classrooms in Kenya's refugee camp

The program will teach STEM education, environmental action and global issues.

Jeffery McMillan, longtime youth sports referee and mentor, dies at 60

Jeffery McMillan briefly relished the life of a local celebrity, whether it was modeling for Target or making shots on a school’s basketball court. Standing…
The vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella. Families can go to Minneapolis School District headquarters between Aug. 19 and Sept. 4 and get their kids’

Minneapolis offering free vaccines for kids ahead of school

All metro children are urged to get measles shot before classes resume.
Lucy Laney Principal Mauri Friestleben, shown in 2017 with Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff.

Minneapolis Lucy Laney Elementary principal to lead North High

Mauri Melander Friestleben will start her new role on Aug. 5.

Minneapolis homeless students and families getting housing support

Program seeks housing for district children, teens.
Shawn Harris-Berry

Minneapolis North High principal becomes associate superintendent

District officials plan to announce the next principal before the new school year begins.
A member of the Minnesota Reading Corps tutors a student.

In Minnesota schools, the hunt is on for math and reading tutors

Student performance on standardized test scores has heightened the need for literacy and math help in schools across the state.
Mohamed Khayre spoke about his child during a meeting about Cedar Riverside Community School. Parents at the school, one of Minnesota's oldest charter

Parents call for change at pioneer Minneapolis charter school

They're pushing to improve the quality of education their kids receive at Cedar Riverside Community School in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis school district has launched a new program to combat an acute bus-driver shortage, offering paid training, mentorship and career oppor

Bus-driver shortage forces Mpls. schools to start training program

The Minneapolis school district has launched a new program to combat an acute bus-driver shortage, offering paid training, mentorship and career opportunities to entice job…
Kids from the St. Paul City School joined in a cheer Wednesday before marching to the STate Capitol against gun violence.

Students from Freedom Schools march in St. Paul to protest gun violence

Schoolchildren and their supporters say stricter gun laws will keep people safe.
Best Buy Teen Tech Center coordinator J.T. Evans, center, worked with students Victor Bustamante, 18, left, Calvin Miller, 14, and Abdalla Nooh, 17, a

Underserved Minneapolis youths get job skills at Best Buy Teen Tech Center

Best Buy brings top electronics with free access to five locations in the Twin Cities.
Southwest High in Minneapolis gets new leader with big goals

Southwest High in Minneapolis gets new leader with big goals

Valerie Littles-Butler will take the helm on July 1.

Former Denver principal takes top job at Minneapolis' South High School

Brett Stringer, 41, plans to start July 1 at South High.
Matica Roberson-Moody, center, an intervener at Roosevelt High School, chanted with other support professionals Wednesday.

Minneapolis school support staff rally for pay increases

Classroom aides, other employees negotiating a new district contract.
Superintendent Ed Graff said a new strategic plan must be financially sustainable and support his top four priorities.

Minneapolis school board adopts its 2019-20 budget

District leaders said the per-pupil funding will be used for new math curriculum.
Superintendent Ed Graff spoke to a room a teachers during a meeting at the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers 59 headquarters in Minneapolis, Minn., o

Minneapolis school board delays vote on district's new strategic plan

Minneapolis residents will get more time to weigh in on proposal, officials say.
Rep. Jim Davnie, co-author of the bill, said less than half of the $3 million from the $543 million in education spending went to the effort to boost

Bipartisan push to boost state's teachers of color sputtered

Legislation added less than bipartisan backers sought to increase ranks of color.
South High Principal Ray Aponte collected hugs, high-fives and goodbyes from students and staff on his last day of school on Friday, June 7.

'It's about the kids': Longest-serving principal in Minneapolis schools retires

Ray Aponte has been a principal in the Minneapolis Public Schools for 25 years.
Charles “Chad” William Freeman

Milton's restaurant co-owner and chef Charles Freeman dies at 37

His love for food led him to start a fast-casual eatery with his mother.
City officials unveiled updates on the Stable Homes, Stable Schools initiative to help homeless students in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis leaders urge property owners to help homeless students

New Stable Homes, Stable Schools pilot program needs more rental units.
Minneapolis Superintendent Ed Graff said he felt pressure to deliver a plan that would kick-start a conversation about the state’s third-largest sch

In shifting boundaries, Minneapolis schools' strategic plan stirs angst

Parents and staff say redrawing attendance areas will lead to segregation.
At Tuesday's Minneapolis school board meeting, some of the parents protested by walking in front of the school board members. A few parents blocked Su

Parents protest strategic plan at Minneapolis school board meeting

District has scheduled public meetings before final vote in late August.
Michael Favor is stepping down as principal of Minneapolis Southwest High School, effective June 19.

Minneapolis Southwest High School principal resigns

Michael Favor has accepted a job as an assistant superintendent for Roseville Area Schools.
Many members of the local Somali community members say the guilty verdict in Mohamed Noor’s trial exposed systemic racism in the justice system.

Noor verdict sparks outrage within local Somali community

Many say the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer has widened the gulf with law enforcement.
Ibrahima Diop is Minneapolis Public Schools' chief financial officer.

Minneapolis schools' CFO works magic in erasing a $33M deficit

CFO erased a $33M deficit; latest plan is for balanced budget and no job cuts.
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.