Neighborhood House's new president is a familiar face

  • Updated: April 18, 2008 - 11:21 PM

The new president of Neighborhood House, a haven for immigrants in St. Paul since 1897, is a familiar face.

Armando Camacho, a Puerto Rican immigrant, spent time in programs at the settlement house on the West Side as a kid.

Camacho's starting date is set for May 19. He will replace Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas, who has served as interim president since last summer.

"His passion, intelligence and nationally recognized leadership skills are exactly what we hoped to find in a new president," said Jamice Obianyo, chairwoman of the Neighborhood House Board.

He's currently the assistant director of Alternative Learning Programs for St. Paul Public Schools. He also was principal of Whittier school in Minneapolis, where he helped establish an elementary version of the prestigious International Baccalaureate program.

When Camacho moved to St. Paul's West Side at age 6 to live with his grandparents, he spoke no English. He moved back to Puerto Rico to attend junior high school but, at the age of 15, returned to the West Side.

While a student at Humboldt High School, he lived with various friends, moving from house to house. He played football and ran track.

After two years at the University of St. Thomas, he transferred to St. Cloud State University to become a special-education teacher.

Camacho and his wife have two children.

CHRIS HAVENS

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