Students and staff at Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts in Anoka will see a new face in the principal’s office on July 1.
Scott Lempka has been selected to replace Interim Principal Beth Wilkie at the school. Wilkie was only tasked to fill in until the end of the school year, replacing Principal Susan Donavan who retired last fall.
Lempka will be coming to the Anoka-Hennepin School District from Elk River, where most recently he’s been an assistant principal at Hassan and Twin Lakes elementary schools. Previously, Lempka worked in the Central Valley School District of Spokane, Wash., where he taught and helped develop the curriculum for a non-traditional school, similar to a magnet school, in that community.
“I’ve heard positive things about the school district as well as the staff at Lincoln,” he said. “So I’m very excited.”
Lempka said the opportunity to lead a magnet school like Lincoln was a fabulous opportunity for him.
“The fact that the school is a magnet for the arts—that’s exciting,” Lempka said. “Getting back to work with that kind of curriculum is great.”
Mary Wolverton, the district’s associate superintendent, said Lempka elevated himself during a host of meetings and interviews, including with parents of Lincoln. He possesses a strong background that prepares him well for the principal position, she said.
On one hand it’ll be bittersweet to leave Elk River, Lempka said, but he’s also looking forward to the new opportunity.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work in Elk River. It’s a wonderful place and school district,” he said. “At the same time, I think this is an exciting opportunity.”
Lempka has a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, and he went on to earn both a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and principal certification from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash. He began his career as a fourth, fifth and sixth grade teacher and has experience as a special education EBD teacher as well. In addition to roles as an assistant principal, he’s also been a literacy instructional coach. Lempka grew up in Alexandria, Minn.
Wolverton said Lempka’s colleagues describe him as a warm and friendly person who works tirelessly on behalf of families. He is also a strong instructional leader and an excellent listener and communicator who is skillful at resolving conflicts, she said.