Greta Evans-Becker says goodbye to her Meadowbrook Elementary students virtually via YouTube. (VIDEO STILL)

Greta Evans-Becker, principal of Meadowbrook Elementary, was given a special spotlight by Golden Valley city leadership for her recent retirement. The principal, who stepped down from her role after 12 years of service to the district, was recognized via city proclamation by Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris and the City Council June 16.

“It’s a bittersweet moment in our community,” said Harris of Evans-Becker’s departure from the school. “Our cities are only as strong as our schools, and it’s clear that Meadowbrook is a leader–not just in the Hopkins School District–but they’re a leader in the metro and statewide.”

Harris added that it was “amazing” to see the sense of community that grew from the school under Evans-Becker’s leadership.

Councilmember Kimberly Sanberg, who has two children currently attending the school, said Evans-Becker’s commitment to her students “really shone through” even during distance learning.

Councilmember Gillian Rosenquist recalled Evans-Becker’s beginnings at the Robbinsdale School District before her time with the Hopkins District.

“Your roots in teaching here are very deep, you’ve worked with students in Golden Valley from both districts,” Rosenquist said. She added her hope that Evans-Becker would see off the Hopkins High School graduating class next spring, as it was the principal’s first class of kindergarteners at Meadowbrook.

Evans-Becker, or “Dr. E-B” as she is known, continued to connect with her students through distance learning, uploading announcements and storytimes for her students to watch from home. This included her last school announcements video on June 5, in which she told her students they wouldn’t be seeing her in the school again.

“I’ll be off on other adventures, but if you see me–like if we’re at a store or out in public somewhere–come up to me and say ‘Hi, Dr. E-B’ and tell me your name, because you will look different after all this time,” Evans-Becker said in the clip. “I want to know who you are because I will be so proud to say hi to you, and I will be watching you from afar as you do great things. I am so proud of you.”

Recognizing ‘fearless leadership’

As a token of the city’s gratitude, the city proclamation was approved unanimously.

“Whereas Dr. Evans-Becker educated generations upon generations of children, laying the foundation for future educators, doctors, lawyers, inventors, politicians, and all other professions imaginable by students in a caring, supportive, and inspiring environment; Now therefore be it resolved that the City Council of the city of Golden Valley do hereby proclaim our appreciation to Dr. Greta Evans-Becker, for the 12 years of dedication to Meadowbrook Elementary School, and recognize all achievements therein as a direct result of her tireless and fearless leadership,” a portion of the proclamation read.

The proclamation also mentioned Evans-Becker’s “fearless leadership,” commitment to health and wellness, and devotion to making the school community “vital.”

Hopkins Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed and Assistant Superintendent Nik Lightfoot also called into the virtual meeting to support and thank the educator.

“I don’t think I have to remind anyone but Meadowbrook is a school of more than 800 children,” said Mhiripiri-Reed. “Can you imagine being in charge of 800 children and almost 100 adults?”

Mhiripiri-Reed recognized the principal for going beyond her job description: directing traffic in the parking lot, sewing clothes, fixing zippers, making pancakes and “putting on her hard hat because she thinks the construction workers aren’t working fast enough.”

“She embodies the true spirit of one our core values, which is love,” Mhiripiri-Reed said.

Lightfoot, also the parent of a Meadowbrook student, called Evans-Becker an “exemplary” principal who was able to strengthen the school via external partnerships.

When it was Evans-Becker’s turn to speak, she was a little emotional.

“Those are lovely words,” she said.

She thanked the city officials for their openness to partnering with the school, from public safety training with students and staff members to the presence of the mayor at school events.

Evans-Becker has said previously that her retirement plans include travel “when the world is healthy.”

“Until then, I will have fun with my family, garden, cook, sew, craft, volunteer, and read and learn new things,” she said.

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