Staff Directory 6370607

Anthony Lonetree

Reporter | St. Paul education
Phone: 612-673-4109

Anthony Lonetree has been covering St. Paul Public Schools and general K-12 issues for the Star Tribune since 2012-13. He began work in the paper's St. Paul bureau in 1987 and was the City Hall reporter for five years before moving to various education, public safety and suburban beats.


A lifelong music fan, Lonetree wrote the first Replacements stories to be published in a daily newspaper (St. Paul Dispatch) and now makes in-store mixes for a Northeast Minneapolis vintage clothing store -- with top sound sources. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, son and two dogs. He also has four daughters from an action-packed early life on St. Paul's East Side. He's a Ho-Chunk tribal member.
Recent content from Anthony Lonetree
Anoka-Hennepin School Board Director Zach Arco speaks during a meeting July 15, 2024, at the the Sandburg Education Center.

Anoka-Hennepin school board stalls again over ethnic studies in history curriculum

The politically divided board, which overcame an impasse to approve a budget in June, also recently failed to approve new physics curriculum.
A federal appeals court recently reinstated a case alleging Lakeville Area Schools discriminated against parents critical of district-sponsored Black

From Black Lives Matter signs to Pride flags, Minnesota school decorations caught in DEI debate

What teachers can display still faces scrutiny, as the Lakeville district fights a legal challenge over Black Lives Matter posters and other districts face questions over Pride flags.
Book circulation is up in both the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts, but the two differ in their approach to having librarians in the element

Minneapolis schools prioritized librarians. St. Paul is cutting them at the elementary level.

Both school districts say their library book circulation is up, and St. Paul will keep librarians in upper grades, but elementary libraries will be staffed by teaching assistants.
St. Cloud school district Superintendent Willie Jett

Minnesota owes group of special-education students additional services after schooling cut short

Settlement filed in U.S. District Court in May; steps now underway to notify eligible students.
Many Minnesota schools, from Minneapolis to Minnetonka to Thief River Falls, are facing painful budget cuts this year. The Crosby-Ironton district has

Minnesota schools faced multimillion-dollar budget problems. Here's what they cut.

St. Paul and Minneapolis seek to overcome the loss of federal COVID aid while they and other districts battle the effects of inflation and other cost increases.
Myrtle Lemon-Todd, in blue tie-dye, hugs attendees of a rally in support of a transgender Hopkins High School junior who allegedly was assaulted leavi

Activists rally on behalf of transgender Hopkins student after alleged attack

The school district and the Minnetonka police are investigating "an act of violence," with police adding that its probe involves a "possible hate crime."
Gateway to College counselor Jessie Hass, right, assists Sam Langley, 20, enroll in college classes for the fall at St. Paul College in St. Paul on Tu

A St. Paul program helped at-risk kids experience college. Now it's leaving campus.

Gateway to College is set to move to former East Side elementary school building after St. Paul College decided to no longer host the program it helped launch in 2015-16.
Education measures approved by the Minnesota Legislature this year include some relief on training deadlines for school districts incorporating new li

Classroom cellphone rules and a ban on book bans: What school bills passed in Minnesota

Extra funding was in short supply in 2024, but the Legislature approved some new policies, gave financial help to future teachers and offered districts some relief from literacy program training deadlines.
Elizabeth McNamara, left, offered her assistance to Steve and Nancy Gehrenbeck-Miller as they began filling out the FAFSA form online during a financi

State offers help to students struggling with FAFSA forms

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education will provide $15,000 grants to two advocacy groups to assist students after glitches marred the rollout of a new federal financial aid form.
Highwood Hills Elementary school principal Fatima Lawson receives hugs from Pre-K students inside Highwood Hills Elementary School in St. Paul on Thur

A St. Paul school was in trouble, but its principal turned it around by listening to parents

Principal Fatima Lawson recently won an award for her work at Highwood Hills Elementary, which adopted a polytechnic approach at the urging of Somali, Karen and Hispanic families.
Minneapolis teachers and education support professionals, pictured at a rally earlier this year, are voting on new contracts this week.

Minneapolis teachers voting on bigger raises, lower special-ed workloads in contract

The two-year deal would provide 4% and 5% salary increases over two years; school support staff members also are voting on a pact of their own.
Protesters make their way to an Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting during a Youth for Unity rally on Monday, April 22.

Showdown over DEI issues won't lead to Anoka-Hennepin shutdown, superintendent says

One member of a conservative bloc that objected to DEI policies now says he will approve a budget in June. But the district still has to work through several diversity concerns.
Demonstrators march to the Sandburg Education Center in Anoka during a Youth for Unity rally and march before Monday's Anoka-Hennepin school board mee

Showdown over DEI programs threatens Anoka-Hennepin schools budget

Conservative board members say they will veto the budget unless the district drops several DEI measures, spurring protests.
The TikTok app on a phone.

Minnesota lawmakers look to curtail student cellphone use in school

Legislators hope to give cover to districts that seek greater restrictions on smartphone use in schools, especially among teens who struggle to put the devices down.
Joe Gothard, the St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent, helps a student, whose parents asked not to be named, with his reading exercise in Rosie Malo

St. Paul schools superintendent's tenure ends after challenges and national accolades

Joe Gothard, who is leaving for Madison, Wis., has led Minnesota's second largest district through restructuring and the pandemic. His successor faces ongoing budget and academic issues.
Teacher of the Year finalists are acknowledged during a banquet to name the 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Finalists named for 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

The annual honor given by the teachers union will be presented during a banquet on May 5 in St. Paul.
Special menus, like these bison nachos served at American Indian Magnet School in 2023, are among the cuts St. Paul Public Schools is considering as i

St. Paul Public Schools identifies cuts for coming school year

The proposed cuts include teaching jobs, an early-childhood hub and special lunch menus as the district faces expiring federal pandemic relief funds and a $107.5 million budget gap.
John Thein, the interim superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools, inside his office in St. Paul.

St. Paul Public Schools turns to old hand to fill temporary schools chief role

John Thein, best known as the former leader of the Roseville school district, will again serve as interim superintendent of the state's second-largest district.
Minnesota's high school graduation rates for 2023 reflect an increase in students whose status was classified as "unknown." But Minneapolis and St. Pa

Reporting errors, missing graduates mar Minnesota grad rate calculations

The Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts clarified reporting errors, but the episode points to ongoing needs to better collect and organize student data.
Marcheta Evans will become the president of St. Catherine University in July 2024.

St. Catherine University names next president

Marcheta Evans, who now serves as a college chancellor in New Jersey, will be the 12th woman to lead the St. Paul institution, and its first Black president.
Members of the St. Paul Federation of Educators bargaining team, including Rene Myers, center, and Davia Christiansen, right, celebrate a new agreemen

St. Paul school board OKs two-year teacher deal

Agreement with educators was reached less than a week before a possible strike; union members ratified the contract last week.
Members of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators bargaining team celebrated their tentative agreement following a press conference Tuesday at Maxfiel

St. Paul schools, teachers reach tentative contract agreement, avoid strike

The tentative agreement announced Tuesday comes less than a week before a planned strike.
Visual arts teacher Kent Miller chats with Maya Reynolds, 18, during an AP art class on Feb. 29 at St. Paul's Open World Learning Community.

State lawmakers asked to help open rigorous courses to minority, low-income students

Removing barriers and encouraging students to take on challenges at school has brought recognition to Open World Learning Community in St. Paul.
Leah VanDassor, president of the St. Paul Federation of Educators, said that the union prefers to stay in mediation instead of taking up the district'

St. Paul school district proposes arbitration to settle teacher contract, avert walkout

The proposal came a day after the union filed an intent to strike notice for the fourth time in as many bargaining cycles; the walkout would occur March 11, but talks continue.
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St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard named new Madison, Wis., schools chief

Gothard, who recently was named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year, grew up in Madison and began his career as an educator there.
Teachers belonging to St. Paul Federation of Educators Local 28 picketed Tuesday morning outside Adams Elementary in St. Paul. It is a Spanish immersi

St. Paul teachers set March 11 strike date as talks continue

The walkout is set for March 11 as district, union negotiators continue to meet in mediation. The district reports the two sides remain millions of dollars apart.
Leah VanDassor, of the St. Paul Federation of Educators, said the union wants pay raises of $7,500 and 7.5% this year and next but is open to compromi

Minnesota teachers are winning their best pay raises in years

Suburban districts are settling contracts nearly equal in cost to the aid they received after 2023 session; legislative leaders say teacher pay has needed to grow.
Federation President Leah VanDassor, who stopped to talk to reporters Thursday outside the Carpenters Union building where St. Paul teachers voted ove

St. Paul Public Schools teachers authorize strike

The vote means union leaders can choose to call a strike if they deem it necessary. A walkout would not come until March at the earliest.
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State leaders enter new session indicating they may stand pat on big K-12, child care investments

Education advocates plan to push for increase in bedrock per-pupil funding formula; hope for more if February budget forecast brightens.
"What we're really talking about is increasing the conversations that happen within schools," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said at Monday's confer

Minnesota school, county leaders push for plans to address chronically absent students

Education advocates plan to push for solutions at the Legislature. Meanwhile, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has been discussing the topic with local school districts.
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St. Paul superintendent named finalist for top schools job in Madison, Wis.

The move would represent a return home for Joe Gothard, who has led Minnesota's second-largest district since 2017 and is the state's current superintendent of the year.
Teacher Julia Battern led her Ecology class in the woods behind Mankato East High School on Thursday, Jan. 18 in Mankato.

Mankato science teacher fosters connections in school's forest

Julia Battern of Mankato East High School was recently honored with a state conservation award for her work teaching students to tackle environmental issues.
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Snow days making a comeback in St. Paul Public Schools

Students will be free to set aside their iPads and enjoy sledding or other winter activities for at least two days under an agreement negotiated with the district's educators.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is engaged in a consumer-protection lawsuit against HavenBrook Homes and others.

Court orders Minnesota landlord to stop exposing tenants to lead paint in rental homes

Progress Residential Management Services manages about 600 rental properties in the state.
Lighter Moo teaches Karen at Humboldt High School in St. Paul. The district is building the curriculum and plans to offer it to more students next sch

St. Paul Public Schools already eyeing expansion of groundbreaking Karen language program

Hundreds of students have enrolled in the new classes and the district will expand the coursework to middle schools for the next academic year.
Director Katie Mitrovich gave 4-month-old Finn Gustafson a bottle on Dec. 13 at Iron Range Tykes Learning Center in Mountain Iron, Minn.

Next step for early learning advocates: Child-care subsidies for middle-income families

DFL lawmakers are preparing a proposal for the coming session.

Leaving class? In some Minnesota schools, students now use digital pass systems to get permission

The SmartPass system is now in place in St. Paul's secondary schools and the Lake Superior district as schools look for ways to keep students on track.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has reached a settlement with Gateway STEM Academy, a charter school in Burnsville, over alleged m

Minnesota attorney general settles with Burnsville charter school over alleged misuse of funds

Former leaders of Gateway STEM Academy were also charged in the Feeding Our Future fraud case.

St. Paul schools, union agree to contract mediation

Both sides remain far apart on potential costs.
Teacher Lucinda Stelle worked with a group of first-graders on their reading skills at Benjamin E. Mays School in St. Paul.

Budget pinch looms for Minnesota schools as $1.3 billion federal COVID relief money ends

Districts across the state will have to make difficult choices when aid that propped them up during the pandemic comes to an end in 2024.
Voters approved many school funding requests on the ballot Tuesday, but metro area school districts won more than districts in greater Minnesota.

In votes over school funding, metro districts won more than greater Minnesota

Two-thirds of the districts that sought more funding for building projects or operating levies saw at least one question pass.
Voters across the state are deciding the fate of $1.6 billion in school district construction, technology, safety upgrades and more.

Voters in South Washington County, Osseo school districts back big building projects

Mankato and Rochester also were among dozens of Minnesota districts with questions on Tuesday's ballot.
Kathleen M. Murray will be the next president of Hamline University.

Hamline University selects new president

Kathleen Murray, who starts her new job in January, served previously at Macalester College. She takes over from Fayneese Miller, who is retiring.
Students eat breakfast and color at the new East African Elementary Magnet School in St. Paul.

Minneapolis, St. Paul school districts continue to see enrollment slide

Both districts hope for signs of stabilizing enrollment in the coming years.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke at a May news conference announcing the launch of the East African Elementary Magnet School �

St. Paul Public Schools superintendent gets top state honor

Joe Gothard has been at the helm of St. Paul schools since 2017.
Matt Fischer, right, a testing, adjusting and balancing technician, measured air quality along with Eric Frison in the air vents at AGAPE High School

Minnesota schools can tap pandemic relief money to boost air quality. Are they using it?

The state says school districts have sought just $13 million in COVID pandemic relief funds so far, but districts have more projects in the works.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard will be joining citizens on a new district finance advisory committee.

St. Paul residents to have voice in school district's spending decisions

The new advisory panel will also include the superintendent and three school board members.
Sara Dziuk, president and CEO of Junior Achievement North, spoke about the launching of a new partnership with St. Paul Public Schools that would pair

St. Paul Public Schools, Junior Achievement North to bring professional projects to classrooms

The collaborative classroom projects will begin in the 2024-25 school year.
A $2 million donation will help nonprofit Think Small improve child care options for Minnesota’s littlest learners.

$2M donation from MacKenzie Scott to benefit child care in Minnesota

Little Canada-based nonprofit Think Small will use the money to work to improve child care options.
St. Paul Public Schools recently notified students’ families of a data breach.

St. Paul Public Schools notifies students about winter data breach

Names and email addresses may have been accessed, the district says.
Toshira Garraway of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence spoke at a news conference with a coalition of educators, parents, and advoca

Minnesota education activists, DFLers argue ban on student restraints needs to stay

Minnesota Republicans have called for a special session to repeal the measure that prompted several law enforcement agencies to pull out of schools.
Students ate breakfast and colored in Keng Xiong’s third-grade class on the first day of school Tuesday at the new East African Elementary Magnet Sc

St. Paul's new East African Elementary Magnet offers cultural lessons to attract families

The community helped recruitment efforts for the school, which is part of the district's strategy to counter declining enrollment.
Location safety manager Courtney Smith, left, worked with an experienced driver on procedures for a new bus with new safety technology Thursday in Bro

School bus routes bounce back, but drivers are still in demand across Minnesota

School districts and contractors say raises and bonuses were key to driver recruitment and retention.

Minnesota's tiniest learners will get lift with new state-funded scholarships

State-funded scholarships commonly associated with 4-year-old preschoolers are being expanded to give more low-income infants and toddlers access to richer, more consistent programming.

Minnesota's tiniest learners will get lift with new state-funded scholarships

State-funded scholarships commonly associated with 4-year-old preschoolers are being expanded to give more low-income infants and toddlers access to richer, more consistent programming.
St. Paul School Board Member Jeanelle Foster voted in favor of the administrators’ pay raise and said it was the first step in reviewing the distric

St. Paul schools give district leaders 6% pay raise

The school board raised pay for district administrators by 6% after a broader compensation study.

Brooklyn Park shooting victim identified

An adult suspect was arrested for the death Friday night.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard speaks at a press conference announcing the launch in September of an East African elementary magne

Teachers, aides needed across state as school year approaches

The shortage of educators in Minnesota is significant, a statewide survey shows.

St. Paul schools want every student they can get, and hunt begins in preschool

The district will join forces with Head Start to offer more preschool classes.

St. Paul schools want every student they can get, and hunt begins in preschool

St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard — seen speaking at a news conference in May — ranks among the nation’s longest-serving urban

St. Paul schools chief gets lower grade for 2022-23

Joe Gothard acknowledged he'd fallen short on advancing the district's equity plan.
St. Paul’s American Indian Magnet School’s Thomas Draskovic, left, works with the school’s drum group, “Many Nations of People.” As a teache

St. Paul schools face challenge of delivering 'well-rounded education' to all

Half of the district's elementary schools didn't meet that goal in 2022-23, even after merging campuses.
Anthony Tabura, at his new job at SRF Consulting in St. Paul on Friday. Tabura, a recent graduate of the U, is working to pay off $27,000 of student l

Minnesotans re-evaluate finances after student loan relief rejected

The Supreme Court ruling on the Biden administration plan came a couple of months before borrowers are set to resume payments that had been paused during the pandemic.
University of Minnesota officials say they will be looking closely at the Supreme Court’s ruling and how it could affect their “holistic” admiss

Supreme Court says considering race in college admissions is unconstitutional

Minnesota colleges had been bracing for the ruling on affirmative action and emphasizing their commitment to diversity on campus.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke at a news conference last month announcing the launch of the East African Elementary Magnet S

St. Paul Public Schools budget tops $1 billion

The budget includes special education staff hired with help of bonuses and the return of yellow school buses for two high schools.
Chauntyll Allen is among four St. Paul school board candidates who won DFL endorsement on Sunday. She is seeking re-election to a second term.

Four St. Paul school board candidates get DFL's endorsement

Incumbent Chauntyll Allen backed for second term.
Students at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus could see a 3.5% tuition increase next year.

U students face new round of tuition hikes

The university budget proposal for Twin Cities and Rochester campuses includes 3.5 % increases.
Jeff Ettinger, a former DFL congressional candidate who previously worked as CEO of Hormel Foods, will become interim president of the University of M

Interim University of Minnesota President Jeff Ettinger to take over June 10

Regents approved his employment agreement Friday, including several measures to avoid conflicts of interest.
Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger, who has been picked to serve as interim president of the University of Minnesota, talks with outgoing President Joan

U regents to meet to finalize details of presidential transition

Current President Joan Gabel is leaving to take another job. Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger will serve as interim president.
Maximus Katsoulis, 14, from Blackduck, Minn., competed in National Spelling Bee on Tuesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.

Final Minnesota competitor exits in fifth round of National Spelling Bee

Eighth-grader Maximus Katsoulis was the last Minnesota student remaining in the competition after four others made mistakes in earlier rounds.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke at a news conference announcing the launch of the new East African Elementary Magnet School o

St. Paul schools get $52M boost from state, still face budget gap

The state's second-largest district is projected to still come up short on the budget front, requiring it to use rainy-day funds to fill a looming deficit.
Members of the St. Paul school board listened as residents addressed them about school safety in the district in February.

St. Paul surveys reveal student, staff concerns about school safety

The school board heard a summary of survey results and conversations with unnamed staff, students and families around safety issues.
St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke at a news conference announcing the launch of the East African Elementary Magnet School Tuesd

St. Paul's new East African elementary school gets community's blessing

The magnet school will open in the fall.
Mark Lodge

Mark Lodge, high school hockey archivist who officiated 6,000-plus games, dies at 70

History of St. Paul's Johnson High School was a passion.
Two Minnesota students are among the 161 U.S. Presidential scholars announced Wednesday.

Minnesota's U.S. Presidential Scholars named

Two Maple Grove students are among 161 honored nationwide.