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John Metcalf 1955 - 196645 viewsPhoto 1961 John Albert Metcalf of Shakopee.
Superintendent of Burnsville Schools 1955- 1966 and State legislator 1967-1971.
Metcalf school named in his honor.
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Interim superintendent (Amoroso) brings enthusiasm, experience to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage schools 201722 viewsThe Savage Pacer - August 3, 2017 interviews interim superintendent Cindy Amoroso as a new school year begins. For the past four years she has been the assistant superintendent in District 191 where she worked alongside Joe Gothard, who left the District to lead St. Paul Public Schools.
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Dr. Robert Tschirki 1975 - 198117 viewsRobert Tschirki was superintendent May 18,1977 Burnsville Current photo.
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Joseph Gothard 2013 - 201715 viewsJoseph Gothard, District 191 Superintendent 2013 - 2017. Photo compliments of School District 191.
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Cindy Amoroso 2017 - 201911 viewsCindy Amoroso became School District 191 Superintendent in 2017. Photo compliments of the School District.
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Dr. Hugh Holloway 1967 - 197510 viewsSuperintendent Dr. Hugh H. Holloway - 1968 Year Book photo.
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Theodore Foot to take superintendent job in New York 198610 viewsAugust 12, 1986 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that School District 191's Superintendent Theodore Foot has accepted a job in upstate New York....He has been in Burnsville almost five years...
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Theresa Battle, new superintendent 20199 viewsSavage Pacer photo of newly selected Superintendent Theresa Battle, serving School District 191 starting July, 2019.
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John Metcalf resigns9 viewsMarch 19, 1966 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: The Burnsville Savage School Board accepted the resignation of John Metcalf, superintendent of the school district the past 11 years....
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Superintendent Ben Kanninen retiring 20078 viewsSt. Paul Pioneer Press - November 29, 2007 reports on the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Ben Kanninen, who joined District 191 in 1998.
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Ben Kanninen is 2005 Superintendent of the year8 viewsThe Minnesota Association of School Administrators has named Dr. Ben Kanninen, Superintendent of School District 191, as the 2005 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year...
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The passion is there, Cindy Amoroso reflects on tenure as superintendent 20198 viewsSavage Pacer, June 25, 2019 story as Cindy Asoroso retires as Superintendent of School District 191.
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Burnsville school district selects Michigan woman as superintendent 19877 viewsMarch 27, 1987 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Sally Bell was named Superintendent of School District 191 replacing Theodore Foot who left in November to become Superintendent in New York...
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Burnsville begins quest for new superintendent 19816 viewsMarch 26, 1981 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that following Tashirki's resignation, the School Board begins plans to find replacement.
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Dr. Sally Bell 1987 -19906 viewsDr. Sally Bell, Superintendent of School District 191 from 1987 - 1990. She was the fifth.
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Superintendent Dr. Sally Bell's report to the community6 viewsThe 1988 - 1989 Superintendent's Message from Dr. Sally Bell appearing in the annual report to the community.
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Benjamin Kanninen Superintendent 6 viewsBenjamin Kanninen was Superintendent when his message appeared in the 1998 - 1999 Independent School District 191's report to the Community.
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Randy Clegg 2008 - 20136 viewsSuperintendent 2008 - 2013.
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Robert Tschirki 1975 - 19816 viewsSuperintendent Robert Tschirki 1976.
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Superintendent Hugh Holloway 1967 - 19756 viewsHugh Holloway, Superintendent.
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School board thanks Superintendent Cindy Amoroso 2019.6 viewsThe Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District Board of Education thanked Superintendent Cindy Amoroso on June 20 for her service to the district during Amoroso’s last board meeting before her retirement. - Photo source - The Savage Pacer.

From left to right, Darcy Schatz, Eric Miller, Lesley Chester, Abigail Alt, Cindy Amoroso (superintendent, retired June 30, 2019), Dr. DeeDee Currier, Jen Holweger, Scott Hume.
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Theresa Battle, new superintendent 20196 viewsSuperintendent Dr. Theresa Battle, compliments of School District 191.
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Superintendent Theresa Battle message to community 20196 viewsSeptember, 2019 Superintendent Theresa Battle's first column is published in the District 191 course listing.
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Burnsville school chief Randy Clegg retiring 20125 viewsSeptember 17, 2012 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the retirement of Randy Clegg.

Burnsville school chief retires
Randy Clegg is leaving at the end of the school year. He has come under criticism, most recently in a lukewarm job review this month.
By HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA Star Tribune- September 17, 2012 —

After receiving a less-than-flattering job review from the school board this month, Burnsville Superintendent Randy Clegg announced his retirement on Monday.

Clegg, who took over the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District in 2008, said in a notice that he will leave his post at the end of the school year on June 30, 2013.

The announcement comes about a week after the job review concluding that Clegg had failed to meet three of seven standards for such things as ethics, management, vision and goal achievement. The board did not specify publicly which standards Clegg failed to meet.

In reviews in the previous two years, he'd been given a passing grade on all seven standards.

This year, Clegg came under criticism in the aftermath of the district's $255,000 payout to former human resources director Tania Z. Chance. Before signing the separation agreement that included the payout, Chance had filed complaints with two state groups, including at least one against Clegg. The nature of the complaint has never been publicly disclosed.

The agreement and Clegg's future figured to be an issue in this fall's school board elections, in which four incumbents, including chairman Ron Hill, are seeking another term.

Last week, several of the challengers said they would either not reappoint Clegg or take a more critical view of his tenure if they were elected.

The district said that Clegg has a 35-year career in public education, including 28 years as a superintendent. He began in District 191 on July 1, 2008, after serving as superintendent in Clinton, Iowa, for 12 years.

"On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank Dr. Clegg for his years of service to the students and our community," Hill said in a statement.

Clegg, 56, in the statement posted on the district website, said that it was a difficult decision, but he felt it was the right time to retire. He said he chose to make the announcement now to give the school board time to search for his replacement.

"I've had the privilege of working with incredibly talented principals, teachers and staff in District 191 and I'm very proud of what we've accomplished together with the board over the past four years," he said.

Clegg has helped develop a strategic road map for the district and has overseen the addition of new magnet schools, curriculum improvements, free full-day kindergarten and the updating of 17 school buildings.
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Theresa Battle 20195 viewsApril, 2019 Theresa Battle selected as Independent School District 191's next superintendent.
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Burnsville's school chief Sally Bell works toward goal of being best 19875 viewsMinneapolis Star Tribune - July 30, 1987 features Sally Bell, School District 191's first woman superintendent...
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Introducing Superintendent Joe Gothard5 viewsApril 19, 2013 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the selection of Joe Gothard as the new superintendent.
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New Superintendent Theresa Battle brings wealth of experience 20195 viewsJuly 18, 2019 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek news reports:

New superintendent brings wealth of experience- by John Gessner July 18, 2019


Challenges ahead include school-closing recommendation

Theresa Battle has been busy checking boxes in her opening days as superintendent of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

She joined Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, Police Chief Tanya Schwartz and others for a July 8 “Today” show interview about the city’s abundance of female leaders.

July 12 included a visit to Burnsville High School, her eighth school visit, and coffee with Principal Dave Helke at Jo Jo’s Rise & Wine in the Heart of the City.

Battle has visited all three schools in Savage, getting a crash course in local history from Marion W. Savage Elementary Principal Renee Brandner.

“And Dan Patch — I had no idea,” Battle said, referring to the early 20th century superstar pacing horse stabled in Savage by owner Marion W. Savage. “We all know Dan Patch from the State Fair, and that’s us! I’m very thrilled to be a part of all three communities.”

Even before her official July 1 start date, the former St. Paul school administrator launched a 100-day plan that included consultation with outgoing Superintendent Cindy Amoroso, who retired.

Battle’s acclimation period has included some serious business around school closings. The School Board received a consultant’s report July 8 recommending that after 15 years of declining enrollment and with more ahead, the district close two elementary schools and one middle school after the 2019-20 school year. Boundary changes would accompany the closings.

“You’re not just talking bricks and mortar,” Battle said in a July 12 interview. “You’re talking children and families and memories, so that’s the first approach. ... We just received this, so we’re still trying to make sense of it. Part of my listening and connecting is that information-gathering.”

Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Battle began her career in 1985 as a junior high teacher in Hampton, Virginia.

She worked for the St. Paul Public Schools for 28 years over two tenures, serving as a classroom teacher; special education facilitator; assistant principal; assistant director for curriculum, development and instruction; principal; and assistant superintendent. Battle has also been an assistant superintendent in Minneapolis and interim assistant superintendent in Osseo.

She left St. Paul as an assistant superintendent in charge of 14 secondary schools.

“Very similar in size to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage,” Battle said.

She graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor of science in special education and received her doctorate of education from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, the Maplewood resident is a member of St. Peter Claver Church, serves on the Greater Twin Cities YMCA Mission Impact board, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and supports the PROCEED annual tour of historically black colleges and universities.

“Dr. Battle is bringing a breadth and depth of knowledge along with a love of students,” Wendy Drugge, president of teachers union the Burnsville Education Association, said in an email. “We are very much looking forward to her leadership and partnering with her.”

The final phase of her 100-day plan is leading, Battle said.

“Because we need to get ready for the 8,300 students returning after Labor Day,” she said. “We have 1,300 staff returning the week of Aug. 26.”

Battle said she has “seven bosses now,” referring to the School Board members who signed her to a three-year contract.

“But I will still be connected to students, because that’s the focus of our work,” she said. “Our core business is learning and teaching. ... Right now, at least two days a week, I will be visiting schools. And I hope what I’ve started this week and will continue with next week, visiting with every principal and getting out to every school, will be the model for the rest of the year.”

For an academic snapshot, Battle pointed to the district’s 2017-18 scorecard on Minnesota’s Worlds Best Workforce metrics.

“We need more of our students ready for kindergarten,” she said, noting that the percentage dropped from 41.6 percent in 2016-17 to 38.1 percent in 2017-18.

District results on the ACT college entrance exam are “pretty similar to the state,” Battle said. The 2017 Burnsville High School graduate rate of students attending all four years is “good” at 85.5 percent, she said.

“However, you have to look at the story behind the numbers and disaggregate” to find and target achievement gaps between subgroups, Battle said.

“Unfortunately, on too many of the metrics, our black students are not achieving as we know they should. You have to understand, sometimes the assessments don’t always show the brilliance of our kids. That’s why we have to look at multiple assessments.”

The district’s continued net outflow of students was noted in the board-commissioned report by consultant Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors. People interviewed for the report “expressed that a combination of the reputation of the school district’s middle schools and high school and changing demographics of the communities/student population” have exacerbated the exodus.

“Humans build systems that are imperfect,” Battle said. “I’m not sure why people think that the things we built are going to be perfect when we’re not perfect. But it’s really, What are you going to do about it? How do you engage people?”

She said she understands that “perception is reality.”

“We need to keep giving information and have others share our story, especially our students,” Battle said, adding that she hopes the district’s youth will be “better off when I leave than when I started. That’s my goal. You always want to touch people.”
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Theresa Battle, new superintendent 20195 views 'I'm fulfilling my life's purpose'. Meet the new leader of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage-
By Christine Schuster Savage Pacer July 25, 2019


Theresa Battle’s childhood is marked by the influence of female leaders.

She attended an all-girls public high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her kindergarten class was taught by a black woman. In elementary and high school, her principals were women. At home, she looked up to her great-grandmother, who was born in 1882 and lived to be 102.

This month, Battle became the first African-American woman to serve as superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District.

“I really think I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose, and that is to help children and teenagers’ dreams and hopes become reality,” she said in a recent interview.

Battle brings 37 years of experience in urban and suburban districts as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant director of curriculum and assistant superintendent.

Nationally, women are 70% of educators but only 30% of superintendents, Battle said. In Minnesota, only 16% of superintendents are women.

“I recognize I’m a pioneer, and with that comes a responsibility,” she said.

‘A great listener’

Most recently Battle was an assistant superintendent in the St. Paul Public Schools district, where she spent over 28 years across two tenures.

Battle said Burnsville-Eagan-Savage’s values, diversity, dedicated staff and supportive relationships with the local government and businesses drew her to the position.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” she said.

She named budgets and ensuring equal opportunity and outcomes for all students as some of the district’s biggest challenges, referring to millions of dollars in budget cuts in recent years and concerns about racism and the student achievement gap.

This spring, a group of Burnsville High School students participated in an equity innovation lab where students expressed their desire for a culturally competent city and school, Battle said.

“That was about respect, seeing the individual student and seeing them as their authentic selves,” she said. “Those are the challenges, to make sure everyone feels welcome and respected and seen and valued in our community.”

Dana Abrams, a longtime friend and former colleague, said Battle is up for the job.

“She’s a great listener,” she said. “She listens, she’s humble, she knows what the best practice is and always, always, always keeps the success of students as her desired outcome.”

Abrams and Battle met in the teacher’s lounge at Central High School 25 years ago. Battle was working with special education students, and Abrams worked with teen moms. Their education careers continued to intersect over the next two decades.

“You’re never going to see her as an authoritarian,” Abrams said. “It’s about team. She surrounds herself with people who know what she doesn’t.”

Battle’s approachable manner and willingness to help made an impression on students, too, Abrams said.

Recently, Abrams and Battle attended a walk-out at a St. Paul school where students took a stand against racism.

Abrams said many students congratulated Battle on her new role, and she remembers a few female African American students saying, “’I know somebody who is going to a superintendent who looks like me.’”

“Even though she’s not going to be in St. Paul anymore, she’s going to have people here who look up to her,” Abrams said.

Family ties

Battle, who loves to cook, remembers her great-grandmother prepared a Sunday dinner every week for her family. After high school, Battle said she knew she wanted to work with children and teenagers.

She attended Hampton University, where she studied special education with an emphasis on emotional behaviors, and later the University of Minnesota, from where she holds a master of arts degree and an educational doctorate.

Battle is a first-generation college graduate. Her father left school after fourth grade to help his family sharecrop in Virginia, and her mother completed high school.

But Battle said she and her five older brothers were always surrounded by educational opportunity and good conversation.

Books, encyclopedia sets, Reader’s Digest and Ebony and Jet magazines filled the home, she said, and her father always read two newspapers every day.

Battle spent summers horseback-riding, swimming, practicing archery and hiking at camp in the Catskill Mountains.

“A wonderful childhood,” she said.

Battle married her college sweetheart, and as a Minnesota resident for now nearly 36 years, she jokes that love brought her to Minnesota.

Her son is currently a chef, and her daughter is studying strategic communications at New York University.

Outside of education, Battle said she loves to read and go to the beach. Abrams said Battle is also a sports fanatic, and she has been spotted wearing a Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings bracelet at the same time.

Hope for the future

Before long, around 8,300 students and 1,300 staff members will be arriving for a new school year.

“I like standardization, but not at the expensive of stifling innovation and creativity,” Battle said. “That’s where I have to find a balance.”

In recent years, district officials have cut millions from the budget in efforts to offset declining student enrollment and a lack of state and federal funding.

Battle said the “three h’s” — “the heat” of being held accountable, “the hope” the district will do better and “the help” it needs to help students succeed — guide her as she prepares to move through difficult decisions, such as the possibility of closing one or more schools to help balance to the budget.

A district consultant this month recommended closing two elementary schools and one middle school and selling the Diamondhead Education Center at the end of next school year.

Board of Education Chairwoman Abigail Alt said she’s been impressed with Battle’s focus on getting to know the schools and community.

“She’s definitely digging in and wanting to make sure that she understands who we are at this point in time and leads us in a way that ensures we continue to be a viable school district with high-quality programming,” Alt said.

She said Battle’s leadership also brings opportunity for district officials and staffers to look for new ways to approach their work.

“For me, (success) is that the children are better off when I leave this position than when I came,” Battle said.
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Summer reading program5 viewsDistrict 191 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle was a "Rockin' Reader" on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Nicollet Commons Park, located in the Heart of the City at 12550 Nicollet Avenue.The Rockin' Lunch Hour was sponsored by the City of Burnsville.
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