by Jim Boyle
Parker Elementary School Principal Scott Lempka has taken a new position with Minnewaska Area Elementary School, and his last day in the Elk River Area School District will be after the 2019-20 school year concludes.
Scott and his wife, Kari, just opened a retail store in downtown Alexandria called 6th & Broadway Clothing and Decor.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for Kari that we were not looking for at the time but just fell into place,” Scott said. “The store is located in the historic downtown area in an old 1881-built building that used to be an opera house.”
The move is also a homecoming of sorts. The Lempkas grew up in the Alexandria lakes area and still have a lot of family there to draw them back.
Scott’s new principalship will begin in July.
“My time at Parker has been the highlight of my career,” Scott said. “I have so many wonderful memories here made so by the amazing staff, students, and families in this community. ISD 728 is an outstanding school district and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work and to have my own children attend here.”
Lempka started at Parker in 2015, which in itself was a different homecoming of sorts. He previously worked as a shared assistant principal at three schools over the course of three years in the Elk River Area School District before taking his first full-time principal post in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in 2013.
He brought experiences from Otsego, Hassan and Twin Lakes elementary schools to the Lincoln School for the Arts in Anoka. He was there two years when the position at Parker Elementary School opened.
He also got to know Parker staff as a parent when his children started attending the elementary school. He volunteered for the school’s Watch D.O.G.S. program designed for “Dads of Great Students” and other father and grandfatherly figures. His wife, Kari, also spoke as a military veteran about her experiences as a captain in the United States Air Force working in aircraft maintenance after 9/11.
While serving as the principal for Parker Elementary School he kept up the school’s tradition of celebrating Veterans Day and had the pleasure of celebrating Parker Elementary School’s distinction as a U.S. Blue Ribbon School in 2016. He traveled to Washington, D.C., with some staff members to accept the award.