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Adney said the humor he tries to weave into his principal’s job comes from a belief that there’s a better way to get his message across to students. Talking down to them won’t work, he says.
“It’s really about engaging kids at a base level of high expectations,” Adney said. “We have high expectations for our kids, and we’re going to hold them accountable. But really, we want the kids to hold themselves accountable.”
Adney confesses he’ll miss daily interactions with students and teachers in his position with the principals association, but he said he’ll continue to be an advocate for them on a larger scale as he grooms new principals. The association represents more than 1,300 active and retired principals and provides members with information on Minnesota policy matters and professional growth opportunities.
“We don’t want to see him go, but I think a lot of teachers feel like this move is an investment in Minnesota’s principals,” said Pauline Patrick, a longtime Minnetonka High School teacher.
Minnetonka will launch a national search to find Adney’s replacement. School officials hope to have made a selection by the end of the school year and to have that person in place by July.
For now, Adney brushes off talk about saying goodbye. He’s got almost eight weeks left of school to do that.
And even though he’s about to embark on a new professional challenge, it’s likely that his time as principal of Minnetonka High School will define a major chapter in his career.
“My daughters fear that after 37 years in education, the thing on my headstone will say, ‘Dance like Grandma is watching,’ ” Adney said. “I hope it says, ‘He was a good teacher.’ ”
Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469