After 17 years with PACT Charter School, Dan DeBruyn has left to work with charter schools around the state.
DeBruyn has been the Ramsey school’s administrator and secondary principal for 13 years, but now he will work on improving all charter schools as an authorizer specialist in the Minnesota Department of Education’s charter center.
DeBruyn has been a visionary for the school, said PACT School Board Chairman Scott Oliversen.
DeBruyn has seen the school, which was started as a partnership of parents and teachers, go from renting space in the old Anoka Milk Factory to having its own buildings, he said.
According to Oliversen, DeBruyn, who was the school’s third administrator, was instrumental in making the new school building happen.
“Dan has been a good administrator and we are sorry to see him go,” Oliversen said.
While he has loved working on the school’s mission and working closely with the community, DeBruyn said he is leaving because the opportunity came up that will give him a chance to ensure quality charter schools in Minnesota.
It was a great career opportunity and it is something that will allow him to have a bigger impact on charter schools statewide, he said.
Although DeBruyn, who started as a PACT elementary teacher, will miss having an impact on the students, his new position will allow him to work to make sure the charter schools have quality authorizers and programs, according to DeBruyn.
His one regret is that the school’s online program was not able to get started before his departure.
“I would have like to see that come to fruition,” said DeBruyn, who worked on the program for three years.
As the school’s administrator, DeBruyn led the process that resulted in PACT Charter School being able to build its own building.
Looking for a location for the new school started in 2001 and they looked at several cities, including Oak Grove and Champlin, DeBruyn said.
Although these cities in the PACT search did not work out, Ramsey was starting to develop The COR, near Highway 10, and wanted to include a school.
“It was an ideal location,” DeBruyn said.
One of DeBruyn’s favorite memories is breaking ground for the new building in 2004.
“It was a big step for the school,” DeBruyn said.
The K-12 school’s waiting list swelled from 600 prospective students to 2,000 possible students as the building was being constructed, he said.
With the new building, the school was no longer split between two rented buildings in Anoka.
“We had a building designed for our needs,” DeBruyn said.
Since moving to Ramsey, the school has started a number of new programs, including its annual Veterans Day presentation.
“That program is near and dear to my heart. Good memories,” DeBruyn said.
DeBruyn started his new job April 11.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org