Students and their families will have an opportunity to welcome a mix of both new and familiar faces to schools across the district when classes resume this fall. Many students and their families will get to meet new leaders at open house events happening in August.
The new staff are spread across eight of the district’s elementary and secondary schools. Some of the leaders have worked in Robbinsdale Area Schools in different roles in past years, but have assumed new positions just in time for the new school year. Others are brand new to the district.
Forest Elementary School
Casey Young has been selected as the assistant principal at Forest Elementary. Young has been part of the Forest family since 2013 and has been interim assistant principal since December.
Northport Elementary School
Lisa Barnholdt joined Robbinsdale Area Schools as the new principal of Northport Elementary this past March. Barnholdt comes to the district from Stillwater Middle School, where she served as assistant principal.
Sonnesyn Elementary School
Wilbur Winkelman has been named the new principal of Sonnesyn Elementary School. Winkelman has been the assistant principal at Sonnesyn since 2019.
Michelle Azure has been selected to be the new assistant principal of Sonnesyn Elementary. Azure has worked for the district in various capacities for more than 25 years.
Plymouth Middle School
Leia Ward has accepted the new head principal position at Plymouth Middle School (PMS). Ward comes to the school from Sonnesyn Elementary, where she has served as principal since 2012.
In addition, Todd Goggleye is one of the new assistant principals at PMS. Goggleye came to Robbinsdale Area Schools in May from Saint Louis Park High School, where he served as assistant principal.
Mike Bury will also join PMS as a new assistant principal. Bury comes to us from Jackson Middle School in Champlin, where he has served as assistant principal since 2015.
Robbinsdale Middle School
Colleen Kennedy joined the leadership team at Robbinsdale Middle School this past spring. Kennedy was previously an assistant principal at Plymouth Middle School (PMS).
Sandburg Middle School
Jay Michael Hancock became the new principal at Sandburg Middle School this past February. Hancock has worked in Robbinsdale Area Schools since 2004, all at the middle school levels.
Cooper High School
Willie Howard has been selected as the new activities director for Cooper High School. Howard has been an employee with Robbinsdale Area Schools for over 12 years. Most recently he was an assistant principal and head football coach at Cooper.
Also, Ned Nelson has been selected as the new assistant principal for Cooper High School. Nelson has been an administrative intern at Cooper since 2019.
Robbinsdale Highview Academy and Robbinsdale Virtual Academy
Patrick Burrage will be the new assistant principal of Highview and Robbinsdale Virtual Academy. Burrage is coming to Robbinsdale Area Schools from Minneapolis Public Schools where he served as interim principal at Olson Middle School.