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District hires Dr. Steiner as new OHS principal

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Dr. Amy SteinerDr.  Amy Steiner, currently serving as an assistant principal at Minnetonka High School, has been named principal of Orono High School. She will succeed David Benson, who is retiring at the end of this school year after 25 years in the district as principal of Orono Middle School and Orono High School. Her appointment was approved by the School Board at its April 9 meeting.

“Dr.  Steiner brings a strong belief in and understanding of the educational needs of a high-performing high school,” said Dr.  Karen Orcutt, superintendent of schools. “We admire her work with students of all abilities, as well as her compassion, strong character and intellect. She is a perfect match to lead a faculty that is highly intellectual and relational in their work with students.”

“I was impressed by Orono’s strong commitment to students and high academic achievement,” Steiner said, “while also being committed to providing nurturing and caring support for all students. I am beyond excited and extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve Orono High School as principal and be part of Orono’s commitment to students,” she added.

Steiner has been at Minnetonka High School since 2012. Before that she was an assistant principal at Prior Lake High School for five years (2007-2012) and a dean of students at Shakopee High School for three years (2004-2007).

She began her career in education as a language arts teacher (grades 6-12) in a Level V EBD program at Whipple Heights Day Treatment in Rochester, and later became the lead teacher there. In August 1999, she joined the Shakopee district as an EBD teacher.

“Many of my previous experiences have positioned me for success as Orono High School’s next principal,” Steiner noted, “including building strong relationships and connections with students, staff, families and the larger community. In my current role, I have had the opportunity to lead groups of staff and students on various projects and activities, to help support the building and district goals and mission.”

Dr.  Steiner received her bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, majoring in English and minoring in philosophy. Her master’s degree in special education and a doctorate degree in educational policy and administration are both from the University of Minnesota.

The district received 41 applications for the position. Eleven individuals were interviewed; three were invited back for second interviews. Steiner was the unanimous choice of both the interview team and a team of OHS teachers that met with candidates invited back for second interviews.