Matt Braaten

Longtime Cambridge-Isanti coach and teacher Matt Braaten has been named the school’s new interim athletics and activities director. Submitted photo

Cambridge-Isanti High School announced that longtime coach Matt Braaten has been named the school’s interim Athletics and Activities Director effective July 1, 2022.

He will replace Mark Solberg, who is retiring after 42 years at the school, including the last 23 years as the school’s AD.

Braaten will serve in an interim role this year while working toward the necessary certification required for the position.

“I am very excited to continue to promote the achievements of our students, coaches, and advisors of Cambridge-Isanti High School,” Braaten said in a release. “After 22 years of teaching and coaching in the school district, I am looking forward to using my abilities to lead the department in a direction that celebrates its past and also prepares it for future success.

“Being involved in the community has been a passion of mine and now I will be able to cast that net further. My parents instilled in me a strong sense of service to the community and its youth, and I am eager to take on this role where I can continue this legacy.”

Braaten most recently has served as a varsity assistant coach for the Bluejackets’ basketball, baseball and football teams. He also has served the community through his involvement with Scouting and the Cambridge-Isanti competitive athletic associations for football and baseball.

In 2021, he was honored by the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association as Assistant Baseball Coach of the Year. Braaten also has been heavily involved in Cambridge-Isanti youth programs; for example, one of his responsibilities was as field operations manager at Mann Fields in Athens Township.

“Mr. Braaten is a servant leader,” said Cambridge-Isanti High School Principal Steve Gibbs. “Always among the first to volunteer, he has never met a job he did not perform to the very best of his ability; he gives his whole self in service to others. He understands that it is the little things that make a big difference.

“He has strong communication and organizational skills, which are essential to this position. Most of all, he is dedicated to our Bluejacket values and district mission to develop well-rounded individuals who excel in leadership, achieve at the highest levels, and are responsible citizens.”

Braaten joined the Cambridge-Isanti Schools in 2000 as a middle school teacher and has taught math, reading, social studies and technology. Highly respected by his colleagues, Braaten earned the Cambridge-Isanti Schools Employee of the Year award (2004), the Bluejacket Way Above and Beyond award (2018), the Cambridge-Isanti Teacher of Excellence award (2021) and ECMECC Teacher of Excellence (2021).

He also has served on the Building Instructional Leadership Team at CMS and the District Technology Advisory Committee.

“Matt has a tireless work ethic and volunteers with enthusiasm,” said C-I Superintendent Nate Rudolph. “Colleagues describe him as intelligent, perceptive, responsible, and dedicated. One colleague wrote, ‘When he is assigned responsibilities, you know it will be done correctly and with enthusiasm.’

“Matt understands that trust is earned through hard work and service to others. We are so confident that our activities program will continue to earn high levels of ‘Jacket pride’ under his leadership.”

The selection process for the position included screening interviews and on-campus interviews for finalists who participated in panel interviews with students, staff and community members.

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