Two assistant principals hired at Spring Lake Park High School

Spring Lake Park High School has two new assistant principals. But they are not new to District 16, nor to the high school.

 Steve Brady Photo submitted
Steve Brady Photo submitted

Steve Brady last year served as an intern assistant principal at the high school, while John Franke has served as a dean there for the last four years.

The board approved their contracts at the June 12 regular school board meeting as part of a personnel item on the consent agenda.

The two hirees replace SLPHS Principal Jane Stevenson, who had been serving as assistant principal. Midway through the school year, Stevenson assumed the role of principal, while Principal Bill Sommers took the role of director at the Learning Alternatives Community School located on the high school campus.

The other assistant principal position was held by Angela VanHee, a probationary staff member, who had been working at the high school since July 1, 2011.

The district received VanHee’s letter of resignation May 3, according to Ryan Stromberg, director of human resources. He declined to cite why she resigned, saying that reasons for resignations are not public information.

VanHee’s last day of working in the district was June 14, he said in an e-mail to the Life. Stevenson told the Life that VanHee had done a good job during her time at SLPHS.

The board at the June meeting unanimously approved Brady’s salary at $103,330 and Franke’s salary at $105,330.

The new high school administrative team has diverse backgrounds and individual strengths that complement each other, Stevenson told the Life.

Steve Brady

Brady came to SLPHS as an administrative intern in March of the 2010-11 school year.

“His commitment to learning and taking on new things and being really reflective, and how he takes on new challenges has been really extraordinary,” Stevenson said in an interview.

Brady has a background both in chemistry and as an elementary teacher. Before coming to the high school, he taught kindergarten through second grade at Woodcrest Elementary School for about five years.

Just out of college, he briefly worked at a managerial accounting company. His first job in education was working as a paraprofessional in a federal level emotional behavioral disorder program in the St. Paul School District.

Stevenson said she was especially impressed with Brady’s involvement with the SLP district’s online distance learning program. He enhanced program’s structure and ensured it aligns with the high school’s education goals, she said.

He is also knowledgeable in the professional development area, particularly in the district’s new technology initiative to distribute digital devices (iPads) to most every second- through 12th-grade student, starting some time this school year. In his research, Brady visited districts in the Midwest and gathered information about other districts’ technology plans, Stevenson said.

Brady holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. He earned an administrative licensure from Hamline University, St. Paul, and is just credits short of earning a certificate of professional development from the University of Minnesota.

John Franke

Franke has been a familiar face at the high school since 2008 when he started working there as a dean.

John Franke Photo submitted
John Franke Photo submitted

Before entering the education field, Franke worked as a case manager in social services for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and he worked in marketing for a financial services company.

He first came to District 16 as a paraprofessional in the English Language Learners Program at Park Terrace, where he remained for six years. He later taught ELL in the district’s Learning Alternatives Community School.

In 2007, he took a position as a social studies teacher at a private school, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis for one year.

“John has an extraordinary manner in how he works with people,” Stevenson said.

He brings a linguistics background, she said, which further adds to the diversity of the administrative team.

Franke holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He earned a master’s degree in teaching and a principal’s licensure from Hamline University.

Both Brady and Franke are committed to continuous and professional improvement, Stevenson said.

As assistant principals, they will work on registration, scheduling, back to school duties and student supervision, discipline and management.

“This is the best team ever I have put together, so I’m very excited about it,” said Stevenson, who has been a school administrator for more than 10 years.

Brady and Franke will officially start their positions July 1.

A dean will be hired to replace Franke some time in July, Stevenson said.

Spring Lake Park High School as of June 21 had an enrollment of nearly 1,400 for the 2012-13 school year. The high school serves students in Spring Lake Park and parts of Blaine and Fridley.

Elyse Kaner is at
[email protected]