The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District finally has its new superintendent.

Christine Osorio, chief academic officer for the neighboring St. Paul Public Schools, has agreed to a three-year deal that will pay her $182,000 in the 2015-16 school year, the school board said on May 26.

The announcement came about two months after the board reopened the superintendent search after having failed to reach consensus on a contract with its first nominee for the job.

Osorio, 42, replaces Patty Phillips, who is retiring at the end of June after 10 years with the district.

In a statement, Osorio noted that she has a child in the district and that she has been “impressed both personally and professionally with the district, staff and the community. It is truly an honor to join the talented team and I look forward to our work together.”

Osorio is at the end of her first year as St. Paul’s chief academic officer, a post that included being part of the negotiating team for district-teacher contract talks. Before rising to the central administrative ranks, Osorio served as principal of Paul & Sheila Wellstone Elementary in St. Paul.

Her new salary is just above that of Stillwater Area Public Schools’ new superintendent, Denise Pontrelli, who is to be paid $180,000 in 2015-16. Both begin their assignments on July 1. The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale district has about 10,400 students, compared with about 8,100 in the Stillwater district, according to the state Department of Education.

Osorio’s deal calls for her to be paid $185,640 in 2016-17. Her salary for the third year has yet to be set but must be agreed to by April 1, 2017, under the deal.


Three students win national scholarships

National Merit Scholarship season is nearing its end, with the third and most recent round of recipients including six Washington County-area students — three of whom live in Woodbury, a news release said.

The awards announced May 27 covered scholarships of $500 to $2,000 that are to be financed annually by colleges and universities.

Additional recipients of college-sponsored scholarships are expected to be included in the final announcement in July. More than 1.4 million students in about 22,000 schools entered competition by taking the PSAT, the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, as juniors in 2013.

The Woodbury residents who won college-sponsored awards include Harsha Kethineni and Marta M. Williams of Woodbury High and Julia Theiss from East Ridge High. Kethineni plans to study computer science at the University of Minnesota, Williams is likely to study medical research at Luther College, and Theiss plans to study pharmaceutical science at Scripps College.

The other three local winners are:

• Jake Crandall, of North Oaks, who attends Liberty Classical Academy in White Bear Lake and plans to pursue a military service career and to study at Texas A & M University.

• Ryan J. Martin, of Lake Elmo, who attends Stillwater Area High and is likely to study chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota.

• Andrea Rustad, of Stillwater, who also attends Stillwater Area High and plans to study chemistry at Boston University.

Cottage Grove

Park High students launch new canoe

A group of Park High students teamed with the St. Paul nonprofit Urban Boatbuilders to build a canoe that they then launched at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park on May 27.

The project spanned the third trimester and earned the students credits in science or personal strategies, a South Washington County School District news release said.

Ryan Griffin, a Park High special-education teacher, was quoted saying that he enjoyed the looks on the students’ faces as they created something “they are truly proud of.”

The canoe was made of wood, with a skin of a parachute material, the district said.

Anthony Lonetree