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                                                                                                                              Winter 2024
                                                 MINNESOTA’S K–12 EDUCATION CONNECTIONTODAY                                     MN                ™

                           Brett Lobben, Eden Prairie                                      Superintendent Gothard Named

                           Schools, Selected NAESP                                         Finalist for 2024 National

        National Outstanding Assistant Principal                                           Superintendent of the Year

                                            Learning and Innovation within the Eden Prairie   Saint Paul Public Schools
                                            Superintendent’s Executive Cabinet Team, com-  Superintendent  Joe  Gothard  has  been
                                            mended Lobben’s outstanding capabilities as an   named a finalist for the AASA National Super-
                                            assistant  principal.  “I  was  struck  by  his  peda-  intendent  of  the  Year.  This  distinction  honors
                                            gogical  knowledge,  empathy,  careful  listening,   school  system  leaders  throughout  the  country
                                            drive and strategic approach. [. . .] He has the rare   who are making a positive difference in the lives
                                            combination of skills needed to build leadership   of the students they serve in addition to ensuring
                                            in others, create a data-driven culture, be a cham-  the safety and wellness of their school communi-
                                            pion for students and promote innovation across   ties.
                                            the school and system.”                This announcement follows Dr. Gothard’s
                                                Among  Lobben’s  notable  achievements   recognition as Minnesota Superintendent of the
                                            is  the  establishment  of  MESPA’s  Assistant/  Year  by  the  Minnesota  Association  of  School
                                            Associate  Principal  (AP)  Professional  Learn-  Administrators  (MASA)  earlier  this  fall.  Dr.
                                            ing Community (PLC), which has significantly   Gothard is one of four finalists for the national
                                            impacted leadership development across various   award. The finalists had an opportunity to meet
                                            schools  statewide.  Reflecting  on  this  initiative,   the national education community during a press
            Brett  Lobben,  the  esteemed  assistant   Lobben humbly shared, “The AP PLC provided a   conference on January 11, 2024, at the National   District in Madison, WI. Dr. Gothard began his
        principal  of  Prairie  View  Elementary  School   safe space for members to be a resource for each   Press Club in Washington, D.C.   career in teaching as a biology teacher at La Fol-
        within  the  Eden  Prairie  School  District,  has   other as we navigate and process situations spe-  The  2024  National  Superintendent  of  the   lette High School in Madison.
        been  recognized  as  Minnesota’s  2024  NAESP   cific to the AP role. I continue to receive detailed   Year will be announced during AASA’s National   In the last year, Dr. Gothard has produced
        National  Outstanding  Assistant  Principal.  This   feedback from members on how the AP PLC has   Conference on Education, on February 15, 2024,   transformative change for SPPS with American
        prestigious  accolade,  presented  jointly  by  the   made a difference in their work.”  in San Diego. A $10,000 college scholarship will   Rescue  Plan  (ARP)  spending  to  create  a  new
        Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Asso-  Dr.  Michelle  Krell,  Executive  Director   be presented to a student in the high school from   district-wide  department  called  the  Innovation
        ciation (MESPA) and the National Association   of  MESPA,  applauded  Lobben’s  outstanding   which the winning superintendent graduated or   Office. The district’s ARP planning resulted in a
        of  Elementary  School  Principals  (NAESP),   leadership, stating, “Brett Lobben embodies the   the school now serving the same area.  needs assessment that received more than 11,000
        highlights Lobben’s exceptional dedication and   essence of exemplary leadership. His vision of   Last  fall,  the  Minnesota  Association  of   responses from SPPS staff, students, and families.
        leadership in the field of education.  a  Professional  Learning  Community  for  APs   School Administrators (MASA) named Dr. Joe   The  project  management  system  developed  by
            Expressing  his  gratitude,  Lobben  stated,   across our state has not only elevated the stan-  Gothard,  Superintendent  of  Saint  Paul  Public   the Innovation Office has supported ongoing and
        “I am truly honored to be named the Minnesota   dard of APs but has also served as a space where   Schools (SPPS), the 2024 Minnesota Superinten-  emerging initiatives across the district, including
        NAESP  National  Outstanding  Assistant  Prin-  APs can connect and build community. Brett’s   dent of the Year.  work  with  their American  Indian  Parent Advi-
        cipal. While I thank MESPA & NAESP for the   commitment to fostering collaborative environ-  Dr. Gothard has served as Superintendent of   sory  Committee,  Latino  Consent  Decree,  and
        wonderful acknowledgment, this award is really   ments and driving meaningful change resonates   SPPS since 2017. Prior to his time with SPPS,   the recent planning and successful launch of the
        a testament to the inspiring people I work with   profoundly within our educational community.”  he was Superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-  nation’s  first  East  African  Elementary  Magnet
        each and every day and our collective commit-  One of Lobben’s best practices is his method   Savage School District for four years. Dr. Gothard   School in September 2023. Dr. Gothard’s plan
        ments  to  risk-taking,  continuous  learning,  and   of  conducting  teacher  observations.  Beginning   was a dean of students, middle school principal,   has been cited by the U.S. Department of Educa-
        always doing what’s best for kids.”                                     high school principal, and then assistant super-
            Dr. Robb Virgin, the Executive Director of                          intendent with the Madison Metropolitan School
                                                         Continued on Page 30                                                   Continued on Page 30

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