From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Steve Brandt, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Paul Levy and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

Ex-Totino-Grace leader takes post at MPA

Posted by: Anthony Lonetree Updated: September 4, 2013 - 5:05 PM

William "Bill" Hudson, the former Totino-Grace High School president who resigned in June after revealing he was in a same-sex relationship, has been named director of institutional advancement at Mounds Park Academy (MPA) in Maplewood.

The pre-K-to-12th-grade independent school announced the move in a news release Wednesday.

At Totino-Grace, Hudson was an administrator for nine years, first as vice president for mission in 2004 and then as the CEO-like school president beginning in 2011. He resigned after a meeting with co-presidents of the school's corporate board during which he stated he was in a committed same-sex relationship.

Mark Motzel, one of the co-presidents, said at the time that while Hudson's work was excellent, "living in a committed same-sex relationship is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic church."

Anger and disappointment over Hudson's departure prompted Sara Graham, a 2000 Totino-Grace graduate, to post an online petition seeking to assure any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students that "you are a part of OUR community -- one that embraces love, equality and acceptance."

Within a day, the petition had been signed by more than 290 people, many of them school alumni. It remains active on the change.org website, and now has 607 supporters.

MPA has no religious affiliations.

In a statement, Jeff Suzik, MPA head of school, said that MPA prided itself on having an "open, welcoming and inclusive environment." For nearly 30 years, he added, MPA has adhered to an equal opportunity employment statement that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other social identifiers.

"Dr. Hudson's exceptional professional background and experience as an educator are what drew us to him as a candidate, and we feel very fortunate to welcome him into our community," Suzik said. "He's going to do great, great things here."

Hudson said in the news release that he was honored to have the opportunity and was inspired by Suzik's vision and leadership.

The position marks Hudson's return to Maplewood. Prior to his tenure at Totino-Grace, he was dean of students and assistant principal at Hill-Murray School, a grades 7-12 Catholic institution.

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