Harrison Education Center, a north Minneapolis school for teenage students with severe emotional or behavioral disorders where sometimes violent incidents occurred last school year, has new leadership.

Nathan Hampton is Harrison's new principal, succeeding Monica Fabre. Most recently, Hampton oversaw a program in the Robbinsdale School District aimed at improving the educational experience for black male students. Joining the school as its first assistant principal is Joe Groves.

In December, Fabre suffered a concussion after she was punched by a 17-year-old student.

Fabre, who has been on leave from work, will be "moved into a principal on special assignment position, and the details of her role will be explored when she returns," said district spokeswoman Gail Plewacki.

The assault against Fabre was one of three instances of students assaulting staff members at Harrison over a period of a month or so. There was another attack on a teacher in November at the district's River Bend Education Center, a K-8 alternative school on the North Side, that sent the instructor to the hospital. That student was a 13-year-old girl.

The rash of incidents prompted district leaders to call a news conference at Harrison to reassure the public that they were doing all they could to ensure a safe atmosphere at the school.

In a letter Monday addressed to students, families and staff, Hampton said, "I believe in building strong relationships, promoting student engagement, school spirit and family involvement."

Groves has been part of the Minneapolis district's Positive Schoolwide Behavior Team for more than seven years and has assisted schools in developing schoolwide behavior plans.

He also has taught in Minneapolis at Andersen Elementary and Olson Middle schools.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482