Melissa Monson has been named assistant principal at Eisenhower Elementary School, Coon Rapids.
Growing up in Lino Lakes, Monson said she always knew whatever career she chose would focus on children.
“My stepmother always had an in-home daycare, I was a babysitter in junior high and high school and I come from a blended family of eight siblings, so I was always around children,” Monson said.
“I learned at a young age what it’s like to be around a lot of kids with different needs and different interests.
“It seemed like a natural fit for me to move onto college and a career helping kids to find out what’s important to them; that’s my real passion, helping kids find the things that make them feel alive, happy and successful.”
During college, Monson did her student teaching at Hoover and Mississippi elementary schools. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Monson began her career in education with the district, saying it was a “natural fit.”
Monson’s first job was teaching at Hamilton Elementary School, Coon Rapids, a school she would work at for nine years.
Over the years, Monson went on to earn a graduate degree with a focus on brain development and literacy from St. Mary’s University and worked as an intervention specialist and instructional coach.
After doing her coursework for an administrative license at St. Mary’s, Monson worked as an administrative intern at Evergreen Park and Oxbow Creek elementary schools.
In November, she was named the assistant principal at Eisenhower.
According to Monson, she chose to become an administrator because she saw an opportunity to have a broader impact on students and staff.
She is excited to join the Eisenhower team because of its work on instructional practices to increase student achievement, Monson said.
“There are so many great things happening at Eisenhower and I look forward to finding ways to deepen the impact even more,” she said.
“I am also looking forward to helping the staff on their work to become an EnVOY Certified School.
“I have worked with (consultant) Jacki Brickman over the past couple years and I’m excited to work more with this teacher training that is having such a powerful impact.”
Another plus for Monson is the opportunity to work with Principal Kari Rock and instructional coach Tom Geisenhoff, she said.
“The two of them have worked hard to create structures that help their students and for teachers to maximize learning,” Monson said. “I am excited to learn from both of them and to be part of their team.”