Jamie Carpenter, previously a special education teacher in Chisago, accepted the position of assistant principal at Milaca High School.
The position had previously been left vacant after Joel Foss accepted a new position as the principal of Foley High School in April.
Carpenter began her teaching career in 2008 in Chisago after completing her undergraduate degree at St. Cloud State University.
She later went on to obtain her masters degree from Bethel University and her administrative license from St. Mary’s University.
Carpenter stayed with her current teaching position in Chisago up until she made the decision to switch to an administrative position and applied with Milaca High School.
During her time in Chisago as a special education teacher, she primarily worked with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) students and kids with autism. Carpenter also worked hard to build a 18-21 year old transitions program for her school which later became a joint program with their co-op.
While Carpenter really enjoyed her position in Chisago, she began to feel like she needed a new challenge within her career. So, she started applying for administrative positions.
“With my background, I was sad to think about leaving my position because I loved what I did. But I just wanted that next step, that next challenge because I had been doing it for 14 years and I needed something more, I needed that challenge,” Carpenter said. “So I started looking at the more suburban, rural schools. I have family that live up here too, so it was just a fantastic opening when I saw that it was here.”
One of the other drawing points for Carpenter to apply and later accept the assistant principal role in Milaca was the high SPED population in the area.
“I did some research on the background (of Milaca), and I saw the high SPED population and things like that. I felt like coming here gave me the best of both worlds, and I got to be involved in that,” Carpenter said. “There’s a big population where I can put my experience into, but also have that shift to that administrative role with a small school.”
After accepting her new position, Carpenter and her family made the decision to move from their home in Wyoming, Minnesota to East Bethel. However, Carpenter is excited to see where this role will take her and has felt very welcome coming into the school district.
“I’m really excited. All of the staff here have been so welcoming. The administrative staff is just open to help any time,” Carpenter said. “The administrative staff at the elementary school have been just as open and positive, so I’m really excited for this team because I feel like it’s just a great relationship and everybody really respects each other and appreciates what everybody else brings to the table. So that’s just a really nice feeling for me right now.”
Carpenter stated that she is hoping to bring a new perspective into the school and build positive connections with the students. She also stated that she is hoping to continue to foster the positive relationship the community has with the school through her work.
“I just hope to continue to bring that really positive view of the school and that positive connection to any of the community members to be able to come in to discuss or be part of the school as the community,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter began her role as Milaca High School’s new assistant principal on Friday, July 1.
“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to be here and how accepting the community and the school have been to me starting with no experience. So, I’m just excited they’re trusting me with their school and their children,” Carpenter said. “I just hope I can fill in Foss’s shoes and be that person for the community to know that this administration really cares about the kids and we’re going to take care of them.”
Reach Chloe Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org