Minneapolis Washburn High School Principal Rhonda Dean, who has struggled to balance relationships with district officials and parents, announced Friday that she will resign effective June 30.
Dean, principal at Washburn for four years, said many factors influenced her decision but she did not elaborate.
“While I thoroughly enjoy the principalship, at this point in my professional career I am looking forward to utilizing my leadership skills in another capacity,” she wrote in a letter posted on the school’s website.
Many parents and staff have praised Dean’s leadership, while others have criticized her. The school recently found itself at the center of a contentious budget debate, after Washburn parents pressured Minneapolis school board members to vote to restore $6.4 million in cuts to middle schools and high schools — a decision that raised equity questions in the district.
Washburn was initially going to get $1.6 million in cuts, or 13 percent of its budget for the 2018-19 school year. But now the school will receive $241,800 in one-year targeted assistance and $766,815 in restored funding.
Dean started her career 25 years ago as a math teacher. As principal at Washburn, she worked on improving reading and math performance, increasing the school’s average score for standardized tests and boosting student attendance. In her letter, Dean touted her effort to engage Somali and Spanish parents in school activities.