Students aren't the only people graduating this spring. Twelve members of the 2009-10 Minneapolis Principals' Academy graduate this month, and five will be school principals next year.


The Minneapolis Principals' Academy is a yearlong program that trains assistant principals and others to be the "lead learner" in a school, said Associate Superintendent Erin Glynn, who oversees the program. "Our focus is on being a successful leader in an urban district." The Minneapolis Principals' Academy opened in 2008. St. Paul Public Schools have offered a similar leadership program since 2000.


Would-be principals learn how to identify "quality teaching" and spread it to all teachers in their schools. They also learn about handling special education, English language learners, legal issues and other managerial aspects of the job.


Debbie Regnier will become principal of Hiawatha Community School next fall. She said the academy sends her off with a good grasp of the job's cultural, legal and technical aspects -- and a group of people she can call in a pinch. "No. 1 is the camaraderie you build with other people, she said. "Sometimes the principalship is a lonely job."

Regnier taught for 22 years, but she said the academy taught her about the importance of having a principal visit classrooms and give teachers good feedback. "When teachers are learning, then students are learning," she said.


Todd Aber, Anishinabe • Roxanne Beasley, Waite Park • Susan Enerson, Loring • Amy Luehmann, Bethune • Paul Marietta, Bancroft • Rochelle McGinness, Sheridan • VaNita Miller, Anwatin • Cynthia Mueller, Anne Sullivan • Angela Osuji, Anwatin • Debbie Regnier, Nellie Stone Johnson • Lloyd Winfield, Northeast • Lucilla Yira, Windom.


Yusuf Abdullah, Patrick Henry • Kim Adams, Special Education, Minneapolis • Jay Alexander, Lake Harriet • Gary Beasley, South High • Anne DePerry, Whittier • Steve Flucas, Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, St. Paul • Ryan Gibbs, Andersen United • Jennifer Hedberg, Lyndale • Lori Holmgren, Cityview • Carly Jarva, Park Center Sr. High, Brooklyn Park • Jayanthika Karai, Olson Upper • Jairo Moncada, Andersen • George Nolan, St. Cloud Public Schools • Sally Reynolds, Success Academy • Walter Schleisman, Crosswinds Arts and Science - East Metro Integration District • Laura Sullivan, Sheridan • Merry Tilleson, Ramsey • Mike Walker, Roosevelt • Libby White, Lucy Laney.