What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Rhonda Dean named new Washburn principal

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government, Minneapolis Washburn Updated: May 2, 2014 - 12:41 PM

Rhonda Dean, a one-time math teacher and administrator at Benjamin Banneker school in Minneapolis, has been named the new principal at the district's Washburn High School.

She's been principal at Andover High School for the past six years and previously spent 11 years as assistant principal at Wayzata High School, the district said.

The appointment is intended to give the South Side school stable leadership after turmoil that began last year with student protests that preceded the reassignment of then-Principal Carol Markham- Cousins.  Then district was embarrassed last September when it appointed Patrick Exner as principal, only to remove him days later after an anonymous allegation emerged that he changed answers on a student test at a charter school, a charge he denied. Washburn has been under the interim leadership of Assistant Principal Linda Conley this school year.

"Ms. Dean possesses the character and leadership qualities that will foster an environment of collaboration and high educational standards," Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said in a district statement.  It quoted Dean as saying she was humbled by her selection and excited to return to Minneapolis.

According to the district, Dean earned a degree in business science at Cameron University in Oklahoma, and holds masters degrees in education and educational administration from St. Mary's University.

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