Minnewaska Area Schools welcomes Rick Ellingworth, interim superintendent; Nate Meissner, 9-12 high school principal; Sarah Suchy, 4-8 middle school principal; and Scott Lempka, E-3 elementary school principal.
Ellingworth will serve as interim superintendent while MAS superintendent, Chip Rankin, is deployed with the U.S. Army. Ellingworth recently retired from Redwood Falls after spending 44 years with the school district. Throughout Ellingworth’s career, he served Redwood Valley schools as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal and the last 28 years as superintendent.
Meissner has four years of administration experience in Brandon-Evansville and Ashby high schools. Prior to working in administration, Meissner taught eight years of high school social studies in Browerville.
Suchy remains with MAS in the new position of middle school principal. She previously served as MAS elementary and intermediate principal working with kindergarten through sixth grade for the past 4 years.
Lempka comes to Minnewaska with seven years of experience as an elementary principal in the Elk River and Anoka-Hennepin school districts. He grew up in the lakes area.
As MAS works through the unique challenges the 2020-2021 school year brings, the administrative team will help guide the district with their expertise and experience.
"I recognize that students, parents, community members and educators have significant concerns about the upcoming school year,” says Ellingworth. “Believe me, as an educator I understand the concerns. But I think we can safely navigate through these times. As we move forward our attitudes will be important. Working collaboratively and holding high the attributes of communication, transparency, trust and respect can make the journey one we end up enjoying.”