The Wolfpack of Park High School in Cottage Grove will not be joining a new athletic conference after all, school district officials say. But it was not by the school's choice.
According to South Washington County District officials, the other schools slated for the new conference voted Aug. 15 to exclude Park.
The yet-to-be-named conference is expected to begin play in 2014-15 with eight schools, including seven from the Classic Suburban Conference. The eight schools are Hastings, Henry Sibley, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul and Tartan.
The district said that Park had been asked in June to consider joining the new conference. Community meetings and a school board workshop were held, resulting in a recommendation to the board that Park be allowed to leave the Suburban East Conference for the new one.
"As an administration, we were operating in good faith," Principal Kerry Timmerman said in a statement. "We believed that the new conference would be a good fit for our students and school community in general."
Added Superintendent Keith Jacobus: "This is an unfortunate turn of events for our Park students and community. We are uncertain why this occurred."
Park weighed the move in part to increase student participation and to create an "appropriate competitive balance for all activities," the district said earlier.
For now, the school will remain in the Suburban East, which includes Woodbury and East Ridge high schools.
Familiar face takes helm at Richardson
Jenna Peters, who has worked as a teacher and instructional leader at Richardson Elementary School in North St. Paul, has taken over as the school's principal.
Like her predecessor, Jim Miklausich, now a Shakopee Public Schools junior high principal, Peters has been an advocate for all-day kindergarten.
The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District also named a new leader for Carver Elementary School in Maplewood. She is Isis Buchanan, who has served as an assistant principal, curriculum coordinator and elementary teacher for the St. Paul Public Schools.
As a teacher, Buchanan was the winner of a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, an honor that included the surprise presentation of $25,000.
The district, which serves students in Washington and Ramsey counties, will have seven new principals this year.
Administrators named to committee posts
South Washington County Superintendent Keith Jacobus has been appointed to serve on the legislative committee of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.
Mike Vogel, assistant superintendent for operations, also has been named to the school facilities finance working group of the state Department of Education.
South Washington County continues to grow and will rely on Vogel's expertise as it plans for new buildings. This fall, the district is asking voters to approve $8 million to buy land for future construction.
Principal named at Andersen Elementary
The Stillwater Area Public Schools filled out its slate of principals recently by selecting Hugh Roberts to lead Andersen Elementary School in Bayport.
Roberts, who has worked in the Richfield and Bloomington school districts, was introduced to the school board on Aug. 22.
He told board members that he had been at Andersen for about a week, adding, "I can't tell you how excited I am to be here."