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1998_1999_Benjamin.pdf
Benjamin Kanninen Superintendent Benjamin Kanninen was Superintendent when his message appeared in the 1998 - 1999 Independent School District 191's report to the Community.
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Randy Clegg 2008 - 2013Superintendent 2008 - 2013.
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Joseph Gothard 2013 - 2017Joseph Gothard, District 191 Superintendent 2013 - 2017. Photo compliments of School District 191.
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Cindy Amoroso 2017 - 2019Cindy Amoroso became School District 191 Superintendent in 2017. Photo compliments of the School District.
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School board thanks Superintendent Cindy Amoroso 2019.The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District Board of Education thanked Superintendent Cindy Amoroso on June 20 for her service to the district during Amoroso’s last board meeting before her retirement. - Photo source - The Savage Pacer.

From left to right, Darcy Schatz, Eric Miller, Lesley Chester, Abigail Alt, Cindy Amoroso (superintendent, retired June 30, 2019), Dr. DeeDee Currier, Jen Holweger, Scott Hume.
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Theresa Battle, new superintendent 2019Savage Pacer photo of newly selected Superintendent Theresa Battle, serving School District 191 starting July, 2019.
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Dr. Robert Tschirki 1975 - 1981Robert Tschirki was superintendent May 18,1977 Burnsville Current photo.
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Theresa Battle 2019April, 2019 Theresa Battle selected as Independent School District 191's next superintendent.
battle.pdf
District 191 Superintendent Battle's first 100 days - 2020 District 191 superintendent’s first 100 days- by John Gessner Jan 17, 2020 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

In her first 100 days on the job, School District 191 Superintendent Theresa Battle oversaw a successful levy referendum campaign and preparations to close three schools and redraw attendance boundaries.

“You have had quite a first 100 days, unlike, I’m sure, many, most superintendents, and you’ve handled the challenges with grace and thoughtfulness,” Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School Board Chair Abigail Alt told Battle Jan. 9.

Battle gave the board a report on her first 100 days, from her official start on July 1 through November. The longtime St. Paul school administrator replaced former Superintendent Cindy Amoroso, who retired.

Battle described her first employment phase as “listen and connect.”

“This phase was highlighted by a great deal of visibility for me as I got to know the stakeholders,” she said.

The period included an appearance at the summertime “Rockin’ Readers” program in Nicollet Commons Park.

“It was a wonderfully warm day, and the students were engaged, and we read a book about the sun and other planets,” Battle said.

Battle said she introduced herself further at a “welcome back” staff rally that kicked off the school year. Gov. Tim Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker attended.

On the first day of school Battle helped middle school students with their locker combinations.

“Which might be the most stressful part of the first day for some middle school students,” she said. “And I could still do it. I opened the locker — several of them.”

Other highlights included taking in a Burnsville High School pep fest, visiting the school’s Pathway classes and holding her first executive team retreat, Battle said.

Her “learn and connect” phase included “deep dives” into the district’s structures and systems, including student performance data, policies and contracts.

There were briefings on “topics that required immediate attention,” Battle said. Those included contract negotiations, the facilities study that led to a December board vote for three school closings, the successful November levy referendum that raised $1.7 million in new funding annually, the budget and enrollment.

Among the many community contacts she’s made, Battle said she joined the Burnsville Rotary, a tradition for District 191 superintendents.

“I have to continue to further strengthen relationships and build trust among all District 191 stakeholders,” Battle said.

“I try to get into schools twice a week for a minimum of two hours each day,” she said.

After introductions to the district, Battle said her leadership phase included refining priorities and setting specific actions for the levy campaign and facilities process.

“I cannot thank the community enough for the passage of our levy,” she said.

Leadership included writing a statement of response to an MPR News story about alleged racial tensions between some staff and students at Metcalf Middle School, she said.

Battle said she’s done several media interviews and submitted local newspaper columns.

Current tasks include preparing the 2020-21 budget and redrawing attendance boundaries, Battle said.

“We are about to embark on the boundary adjustments and are sharing those options with the community,” she said.

It was an exciting first 100 days, “but not as exciting as the first 100 days for the kindergartners,” Battle said. “If you’ve never experienced that when they celebrate, please talk to a kindergartner.”
Battle_s_first_letter.pdf
Superintendent Theresa Battle message to community 2019September, 2019 Superintendent Theresa Battle's first column is published in the District 191 course listing.
Bell_article.pdf
Superintendent Dr. Sally Bell's report to the communityThe 1988 - 1989 Superintendent's Message from Dr. Sally Bell appearing in the annual report to the community.
Bell_interview.pdf
Burnsville's school chief Sally Bell works toward goal of being best 1987Minneapolis Star Tribune - July 30, 1987 features Sally Bell, School District 191's first woman superintendent...
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Superintendent Hugh Holloway 1967 - 1975Hugh Holloway, Superintendent.
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Robert Tschirki 1975 - 1981Superintendent Robert Tschirki 1976.
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Oliver Bakken 1966 acting SuperintendentPage 43 - Acting Superintendent Oliver Bakken.
BU_Contract.pdf
Board approves three year contract with new superintendent. 2019.May 3, 2019 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News: Board approves three year contract with Theresa Battle, as new superintendent.
Cindy_Amoroso_interim_superintendent.pdf
Interim superintendent (Amoroso) brings enthusiasm, experience to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage schools 2017The Savage Pacer - August 3, 2017 interviews interim superintendent Cindy Amoroso as a new school year begins. For the past four years she has been the assistant superintendent in District 191 where she worked alongside Joe Gothard, who left the District to lead St. Paul Public Schools.
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John Metcalf 1955 - 1966Photo 1961 John Albert Metcalf of Shakopee.
Superintendent of Burnsville Schools 1955- 1966 and State legislator 1967-1971.
Metcalf school named in his honor.
foot_to_leave.pdf
Theodore Foot to take superintendent job in New York 1986August 12, 1986 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that School District 191's Superintendent Theodore Foot has accepted a job in upstate New York....He has been in Burnsville almost five years...
Gothard_intro.pdf
Introducing Superintendent Joe GothardApril 19, 2013 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the selection of Joe Gothard as the new superintendent.
img_1986.pdf
A photo tribute to John MetcalfFollowing his death in 1975 this photo tribute of John Metcalf was published by the Sun Newspaper
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John Metcalf retiresJohn Metcalf retired as superintendent in 1967 after 12 years.
img_1991.pdf
John Metcalf dies Obituary for John Metcalf who died December 26, 1975.
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Dr. Theodore Foot 1981 - 1986Superintendent Theodore Foot.
jack__BU_Schools_Superintendent_Robert_Tschirki_1980.jpg
Dr. Robert Tschirki 1975 - 1981Superintendent Robert Tschirki.
Kanninen_leaving.pdf
Superintendent Ben Kanninen retiring 2007St. Paul Pioneer Press - November 29, 2007 reports on the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Ben Kanninen, who joined District 191 in 1998.
Kanninen_super_of_the_year.pdf
Ben Kanninen is 2005 Superintendent of the yearThe Minnesota Association of School Administrators has named Dr. Ben Kanninen, Superintendent of School District 191, as the 2005 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year...
new_super~0.pdf
New Superintendent Theresa Battle brings wealth of experience 2019July 18, 2019 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek news reports:

New superintendent brings wealth of experience- by John Gessner July 18, 2019


Challenges ahead include school-closing recommendation

Theresa Battle has been busy checking boxes in her opening days as superintendent of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

She joined Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, Police Chief Tanya Schwartz and others for a July 8 “Today” show interview about the city’s abundance of female leaders.

July 12 included a visit to Burnsville High School, her eighth school visit, and coffee with Principal Dave Helke at Jo Jo’s Rise & Wine in the Heart of the City.

Battle has visited all three schools in Savage, getting a crash course in local history from Marion W. Savage Elementary Principal Renee Brandner.

“And Dan Patch — I had no idea,” Battle said, referring to the early 20th century superstar pacing horse stabled in Savage by owner Marion W. Savage. “We all know Dan Patch from the State Fair, and that’s us! I’m very thrilled to be a part of all three communities.”

Even before her official July 1 start date, the former St. Paul school administrator launched a 100-day plan that included consultation with outgoing Superintendent Cindy Amoroso, who retired.

Battle’s acclimation period has included some serious business around school closings. The School Board received a consultant’s report July 8 recommending that after 15 years of declining enrollment and with more ahead, the district close two elementary schools and one middle school after the 2019-20 school year. Boundary changes would accompany the closings.

“You’re not just talking bricks and mortar,” Battle said in a July 12 interview. “You’re talking children and families and memories, so that’s the first approach. ... We just received this, so we’re still trying to make sense of it. Part of my listening and connecting is that information-gathering.”

Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Battle began her career in 1985 as a junior high teacher in Hampton, Virginia.

She worked for the St. Paul Public Schools for 28 years over two tenures, serving as a classroom teacher; special education facilitator; assistant principal; assistant director for curriculum, development and instruction; principal; and assistant superintendent. Battle has also been an assistant superintendent in Minneapolis and interim assistant superintendent in Osseo.

She left St. Paul as an assistant superintendent in charge of 14 secondary schools.

“Very similar in size to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage,” Battle said.

She graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor of science in special education and received her doctorate of education from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, the Maplewood resident is a member of St. Peter Claver Church, serves on the Greater Twin Cities YMCA Mission Impact board, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and supports the PROCEED annual tour of historically black colleges and universities.

“Dr. Battle is bringing a breadth and depth of knowledge along with a love of students,” Wendy Drugge, president of teachers union the Burnsville Education Association, said in an email. “We are very much looking forward to her leadership and partnering with her.”

The final phase of her 100-day plan is leading, Battle said.

“Because we need to get ready for the 8,300 students returning after Labor Day,” she said. “We have 1,300 staff returning the week of Aug. 26.”

Battle said she has “seven bosses now,” referring to the School Board members who signed her to a three-year contract.

“But I will still be connected to students, because that’s the focus of our work,” she said. “Our core business is learning and teaching. ... Right now, at least two days a week, I will be visiting schools. And I hope what I’ve started this week and will continue with next week, visiting with every principal and getting out to every school, will be the model for the rest of the year.”

For an academic snapshot, Battle pointed to the district’s 2017-18 scorecard on Minnesota’s Worlds Best Workforce metrics.

“We need more of our students ready for kindergarten,” she said, noting that the percentage dropped from 41.6 percent in 2016-17 to 38.1 percent in 2017-18.

District results on the ACT college entrance exam are “pretty similar to the state,” Battle said. The 2017 Burnsville High School graduate rate of students attending all four years is “good” at 85.5 percent, she said.

“However, you have to look at the story behind the numbers and disaggregate” to find and target achievement gaps between subgroups, Battle said.

“Unfortunately, on too many of the metrics, our black students are not achieving as we know they should. You have to understand, sometimes the assessments don’t always show the brilliance of our kids. That’s why we have to look at multiple assessments.”

The district’s continued net outflow of students was noted in the board-commissioned report by consultant Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors. People interviewed for the report “expressed that a combination of the reputation of the school district’s middle schools and high school and changing demographics of the communities/student population” have exacerbated the exodus.

“Humans build systems that are imperfect,” Battle said. “I’m not sure why people think that the things we built are going to be perfect when we’re not perfect. But it’s really, What are you going to do about it? How do you engage people?”

She said she understands that “perception is reality.”

“We need to keep giving information and have others share our story, especially our students,” Battle said, adding that she hopes the district’s youth will be “better off when I leave than when I started. That’s my goal. You always want to touch people.”
new_super~1.pdf
Theresa Battle, new superintendent 2019 'I'm fulfilling my life's purpose'. Meet the new leader of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage-
By Christine Schuster Savage Pacer July 25, 2019


Theresa Battle’s childhood is marked by the influence of female leaders.

She attended an all-girls public high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her kindergarten class was taught by a black woman. In elementary and high school, her principals were women. At home, she looked up to her great-grandmother, who was born in 1882 and lived to be 102.

This month, Battle became the first African-American woman to serve as superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District.

“I really think I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose, and that is to help children and teenagers’ dreams and hopes become reality,” she said in a recent interview.

Battle brings 37 years of experience in urban and suburban districts as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant director of curriculum and assistant superintendent.

Nationally, women are 70% of educators but only 30% of superintendents, Battle said. In Minnesota, only 16% of superintendents are women.

“I recognize I’m a pioneer, and with that comes a responsibility,” she said.

‘A great listener’

Most recently Battle was an assistant superintendent in the St. Paul Public Schools district, where she spent over 28 years across two tenures.

Battle said Burnsville-Eagan-Savage’s values, diversity, dedicated staff and supportive relationships with the local government and businesses drew her to the position.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” she said.

She named budgets and ensuring equal opportunity and outcomes for all students as some of the district’s biggest challenges, referring to millions of dollars in budget cuts in recent years and concerns about racism and the student achievement gap.

This spring, a group of Burnsville High School students participated in an equity innovation lab where students expressed their desire for a culturally competent city and school, Battle said.

“That was about respect, seeing the individual student and seeing them as their authentic selves,” she said. “Those are the challenges, to make sure everyone feels welcome and respected and seen and valued in our community.”

Dana Abrams, a longtime friend and former colleague, said Battle is up for the job.

“She’s a great listener,” she said. “She listens, she’s humble, she knows what the best practice is and always, always, always keeps the success of students as her desired outcome.”

Abrams and Battle met in the teacher’s lounge at Central High School 25 years ago. Battle was working with special education students, and Abrams worked with teen moms. Their education careers continued to intersect over the next two decades.

“You’re never going to see her as an authoritarian,” Abrams said. “It’s about team. She surrounds herself with people who know what she doesn’t.”

Battle’s approachable manner and willingness to help made an impression on students, too, Abrams said.

Recently, Abrams and Battle attended a walk-out at a St. Paul school where students took a stand against racism.

Abrams said many students congratulated Battle on her new role, and she remembers a few female African American students saying, “’I know somebody who is going to a superintendent who looks like me.’”

“Even though she’s not going to be in St. Paul anymore, she’s going to have people here who look up to her,” Abrams said.

Family ties

Battle, who loves to cook, remembers her great-grandmother prepared a Sunday dinner every week for her family. After high school, Battle said she knew she wanted to work with children and teenagers.

She attended Hampton University, where she studied special education with an emphasis on emotional behaviors, and later the University of Minnesota, from where she holds a master of arts degree and an educational doctorate.

Battle is a first-generation college graduate. Her father left school after fourth grade to help his family sharecrop in Virginia, and her mother completed high school.

But Battle said she and her five older brothers were always surrounded by educational opportunity and good conversation.

Books, encyclopedia sets, Reader’s Digest and Ebony and Jet magazines filled the home, she said, and her father always read two newspapers every day.

Battle spent summers horseback-riding, swimming, practicing archery and hiking at camp in the Catskill Mountains.

“A wonderful childhood,” she said.

Battle married her college sweetheart, and as a Minnesota resident for now nearly 36 years, she jokes that love brought her to Minnesota.

Her son is currently a chef, and her daughter is studying strategic communications at New York University.

Outside of education, Battle said she loves to read and go to the beach. Abrams said Battle is also a sports fanatic, and she has been spotted wearing a Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings bracelet at the same time.

Hope for the future

Before long, around 8,300 students and 1,300 staff members will be arriving for a new school year.

“I like standardization, but not at the expensive of stifling innovation and creativity,” Battle said. “That’s where I have to find a balance.”

In recent years, district officials have cut millions from the budget in efforts to offset declining student enrollment and a lack of state and federal funding.

Battle said the “three h’s” — “the heat” of being held accountable, “the hope” the district will do better and “the help” it needs to help students succeed — guide her as she prepares to move through difficult decisions, such as the possibility of closing one or more schools to help balance to the budget.

A district consultant this month recommended closing two elementary schools and one middle school and selling the Diamondhead Education Center at the end of next school year.

Board of Education Chairwoman Abigail Alt said she’s been impressed with Battle’s focus on getting to know the schools and community.

“She’s definitely digging in and wanting to make sure that she understands who we are at this point in time and leads us in a way that ensures we continue to be a viable school district with high-quality programming,” Alt said.

She said Battle’s leadership also brings opportunity for district officials and staffers to look for new ways to approach their work.

“For me, (success) is that the children are better off when I leave this position than when I came,” Battle said.
Randy_Clegg.pdf
Burnsville school chief Randy Clegg retiring 2012September 17, 2012 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the retirement of Randy Clegg.

Burnsville school chief retires
Randy Clegg is leaving at the end of the school year. He has come under criticism, most recently in a lukewarm job review this month.
By HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA Star Tribune- September 17, 2012 —

After receiving a less-than-flattering job review from the school board this month, Burnsville Superintendent Randy Clegg announced his retirement on Monday.

Clegg, who took over the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District in 2008, said in a notice that he will leave his post at the end of the school year on June 30, 2013.

The announcement comes about a week after the job review concluding that Clegg had failed to meet three of seven standards for such things as ethics, management, vision and goal achievement. The board did not specify publicly which standards Clegg failed to meet.

In reviews in the previous two years, he'd been given a passing grade on all seven standards.

This year, Clegg came under criticism in the aftermath of the district's $255,000 payout to former human resources director Tania Z. Chance. Before signing the separation agreement that included the payout, Chance had filed complaints with two state groups, including at least one against Clegg. The nature of the complaint has never been publicly disclosed.

The agreement and Clegg's future figured to be an issue in this fall's school board elections, in which four incumbents, including chairman Ron Hill, are seeking another term.

Last week, several of the challengers said they would either not reappoint Clegg or take a more critical view of his tenure if they were elected.

The district said that Clegg has a 35-year career in public education, including 28 years as a superintendent. He began in District 191 on July 1, 2008, after serving as superintendent in Clinton, Iowa, for 12 years.

"On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank Dr. Clegg for his years of service to the students and our community," Hill said in a statement.

Clegg, 56, in the statement posted on the district website, said that it was a difficult decision, but he felt it was the right time to retire. He said he chose to make the announcement now to give the school board time to search for his replacement.

"I've had the privilege of working with incredibly talented principals, teachers and staff in District 191 and I'm very proud of what we've accomplished together with the board over the past four years," he said.

Clegg has helped develop a strategic road map for the district and has overseen the addition of new magnet schools, curriculum improvements, free full-day kindergarten and the updating of 17 school buildings.
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