Wayzata High School Principal Mike Trewick is taking over the helm of Oakwood Elementary, a school still reeling from the unexpected loss of Principal Dennis Grasmick.

Grasmick, affectionately known at Oakwood as "Mr. G," died by suicide on March 10. He was 61, and his family said he had suffered from depression.

The district had previously announced that Trewick would transition out of his role at the high school. Last year, the district hired Scott Gengler, former principal of Irondale High School, to oversee construction of the new high school addition and eventually replace Trewick.

Trewick was previously principal at Birchview Elementary and East Middle School during his 19 years in the district. He also was an elementary principal in another school district before moving to Wayzata.

For the remainder of this school year, Trewick will spend time at both Oakwood and the high school. He will assume full-time principal duties at Oakwood for the 2015-16 school year.

"Mike will provide excellent leadership for Oakwood staff, students and parents," Wayzata Superintendent Chace Anderson wrote to Oakwood parents. "He is a caring and compassionate principal and is looking forward to working with the Oakwood community."

Kim McGuire

Minneapolis lays off 120 administrative staffers

Minneapolis Public Schools is set to lay off about 120 administrative staffers, a move expected to redirect about $11.6 million back into district schools.

In a letter sent to parents and others Monday, interim superintendent Michael Goar said the cuts were necessary for the district to make the kind of investments it has established as top budgetary priorities: reducing class sizes in some schools, reducing special education caseloads and providing additional instruction time for middle and high school students.

District spokeswoman Rachel Hicks told the Star Tribune that laid-off workers will be encouraged to apply for positions opening at schools, with the intention of "returning those very talented people to the classroom."

Staff members whose positions were eliminated will be able to stay in their seats through the end of June. Layoffs are likely to affect all aspects of the staff, Hicks said.

Alejandra Matos

SPA students make 'Elite 8' in debate

Students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School are headed to New York City in May to debate the subject of government surveillance on an international stage.

The team recently advanced to the "Elite 8" finals of the International Public Policy Forum — a competition pitting high school students from around the world in written and oral public policy debates.

SPA made its way to the finals by defeating three schools — Kerr High in Houston, Texas; Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, N.M.; and St. John's-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Manitoba — in single-elimination contests requiring the volleying of written positions via e-mail.

The event is sponsored by the Bickel & Brewer Foundation and New York University.

This year marks the first that SPA has advanced past the "Top 32" in the event — now in its 14th year.

The team that wins the May 2 finals will collect a $10,000 grand prize.

Anthony Lonetree