Rhonda Dean is the new principal at Washburn

Rhonda DeanBY ED FELIEN

Rhonda Dean started teaching math at the Benjamin Banneker school in the Powderhorn neighborhood, and now, after six years as principal of Andover High School in Anoka, has been named the new principal at Washburn High School.
Ms. Dean grew up in Fridley and is a 1979 graduate of Fridley High School. She attended Normandale Community College, the University of St. Thomas and completed her undergraduate work at Cameron University in Oklahoma with a bachelor of arts degree in business and a minor in finance. Ms. Dean received her masters of arts degree in education in 1996 from St. Mary’s University and her K-12 administrative licensure in 1997. She began a doctorate program in 2007 (currently on hold) and received her superintendent license in 2008. Ms. Dean has two adult children who live in the metro area and two grandsons. She enjoys playing golf and racquetball.
Parents and teachers are hoping the appointment of Ms. Dean will give Washburn the stability it needs after tumultuous turnovers in the last year. Student protests began in 2013 because of conflicts between the Athletic Department and the principal, Carol Markham-Cousins, over the price of a new scoreboard, and that eventually led to her reassignment. The district then appointed Patrick Exner, but had to remove him just a few days later when it was alleged that he had changed answers on three student’s tests at a charter school, a charge he denied.
Washburn has been under the interim leadership of Assistant Principal Linda Conley this school year.
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said in a district statement: “Ms. Dean possesses the character and leadership qualities that will foster an environment of collaboration and high educational standards.”

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