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Washburn scoreboard lit at last

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government, Minneapolis Roosevelt, Minneapolis Southwest, Minneapolis Washburn Updated: September 27, 2013 - 10:48 PM

The scoreboard that accompanies the new athletic field that debuted at Washburn High School a year ago is now operational.

The new scoreboard was in place for Friday's homecoming football game against Roosevelt, won 62-6 by the home team, but was actually lit up for its first use the night before in Washburn's soccer matches against Southwest.

Using the long-anticipated scoreboard puts a punctuation mark on a painful chapter in the school's past year, when the scoreboard played a contributing role in the ouster of a principal and an athletic director.

The board was originally to be much bigger than the one pictured above and installed outside the north end of the stadium. But when neighbors objected to the cutting of trees for its installation, the city discovered that the district hadn't obtained the necessary municipal approvals.and ruled the original proposal too tall under city zoning rules.

That got Athletic Director Dan Pratt in hot water, and when some of the student body got wind that he was being reassigned to teaching full time, they rebelled with a walkout and a sit-in.  That in turn led to Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson's reassignment of Principal Carol Markham-Cousins.

She remains with the district overseeing the small school operating within the Juvenile Detention Center.  Pratt left over the summer to head ahtletics and activities for Rockford schools.  The district's hand-picked replacement for Washburn principal, Patrick Exner, never got to serve in that role after an allegation that he participated in changing student test answers surfaced at Ubah Academy, his previous school. He denied doing so, but Exner is no longer with Minneapolis schools, the district said Friday. 

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