From the time she arrived at her 7 a.m. pre-calculus class, student Taylor Loth couldn't lose the enthusiastic blond woman who followed her around Lakeville North High School on Wednesday.
That was the plan. Loth, a junior, won a Facebook contest to be shadowed by Lakeville Superintendent Lisa Snyder.
The idea, Snyder said, was to see what a real day was like for a high school student.
Snyder was "a very pleasant woman to be around," said Loth. Still, "it was a little weird."
"My friends are looking at me from across the room like, 'Who's that woman?' "
Snyder said students were "awesome to be around" and she loved being able to drink coffee in class, something she couldn't do in the late 1970s. She also liked the rapport between students and teachers.
"Teachers know how to engage and motivate students with a variety of instruction and movement, but I hated the hard desks and crowded rooms."
It's good to let an adult see how high school has changed, from challenging classes to activities after school, Loth said.
Snyder agreed: "I got to experience the high expectations we have for students. On top of Taylor's highly rigorous schedule, she participates in sports and activities for two to three hours per day. After that she has homework and usually doesn't get to bed until 11 p.m."
S. Washington Co. superintendent stays
With his first three-year deal nearing an end and positive job reviews in hand, South Washington County Schools Superintendent Keith Jacobus entered contract-renewal talks with some momentum on his side.
But he also has had to make plans for budget cuts in 2015-16.
As such, the district said, Jacobus requested that his salary stay at $186,100 in the first year of a new three-year contract approved by the school board Thursday night. Under the agreement, Jacobus could receive raises in the second and third years if finances improve.
Earlier this month, the school board said in its evaluation of Jacobus that it was pleased with his performance, passion and vision. "Dr. Jacobus is a leader of great integrity. He works incredibly hard and long hours, and he is dedicated to the students and community," Board Chairman Ron Kath said.
He has continued to win board praise for outreach efforts that include hosting "parent university" sessions and coffee meetings with community members.
Kath issued a statement saying the departure of key administrators last year was not a reflection on Jacobus but part of the normal course of business.
Discrimination claim against MPS denied
A discrimination claim filed against Minneapolis Public Schools by an unsuccessful job applicant was unsubstantiated, according to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
John Saulsberry, who is black, alleged that the school district discriminated against him based on his race and age when it excluded him from the candidate pool for school principal positions.
The appeals court heard Saulsberry's case after he sued in 2013. In district court, Saulsberry, 54, identified three individuals who were hired as principals or assistant principals. The district said all were African-American. The court ruled that Saulsberry failed to present evidence of discrimination.