‘Anoka Family’ mourns loss of former principal

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

 

The Anoka Family lost one of its patriarchs this month.

Art Dussl
Art Dussl

Arthur “Art” Dussl, a former principal at Anoka High School, died Jan. 9 at age 89.

Dussl began his career at the high school in 1960 as an assistant principal, becoming principal four years later. He retired in 1986, but remained a presence at the high school.

Mike Farley, current AHS principal, remembers meeting Dussl days after he assumed the role nine years ago.

Farley remembers thinking, “How do you live up to that?”

In the years that followed, Dussl became a mentor to Farley, and he credits Dussl with creating many of the high school’s longstanding traditions.

“He’ll be sorely missed,” Farley said. “He took such pride in his job.”

Karen Psyck, a paraeducator in the main office at AHS when Dussl was principal, remembers Dussl as a compassionate, genuine man for whom she had the upmost respect.

Under Dussl’s leadership and today, “we weren’t just a school – we were a family,” she said.

“He had so much knowledge, interest and passion,” Psyck said.

Staff members held Dussl in high regard, but so did his students.

David Way, a 1971 graduate of AHS, remembers Dussl running a “tight ship.”

Though tough, Dussl was approachable, Way said.

“Art was always willing to sit and listen,” he said. “The community has lost a good mentor and a friend of the entire school district.”

Along with many friends, morning Dussl’s loss are his wife of 66 years, Shirley Moon; five children; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; four siblings; and many nieces and nephews.

A visitation is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20 at Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 Fourth Ave., Anoka, from 4 to 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held the following day at 11 a.m. at the church.

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