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Leona Derden

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I am married and have five wonderful children and four grandchildren. My educational background includes me completing my Doctor of Education degree this spring at Bethel University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from St. Thomas University and my Principal Licensure from St. Mary’s University. I started my career as a social worker working with abused and neglected children in Chicago, Illinois and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1997, I relocated to Minnesota and was looking for a career change. I became a substitute teacher and took pleasure in the personal contact that I had with students. I fell in love with teaching. I have worked as an elementary teacher, middle teacher, and principal. I am currently working as a principal coach with the Robbinsdale Area Schools.

Started at Bethel

2014

Education

  • Eastern Illinois University - BA, 1986
  • St. Thomas University - MAT, 1999
  • St, Mary's University - K-12 Administration License, 2002

Biography

I am married and have five wonderful children and four grandchildren. My educational background includes me completing my Doctor of Education degree this spring at Bethel University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from St. Thomas University and my Principal Licensure from St. Mary’s Universi

I have worked with many students that come from difficult circumstances and have witnessed them being productive and working up to their fullest potential. I understand that the quality is not based on location or the ethnic and social makeup of the neighborhood. Quality is based on the high level of expectations and beliefs of the person in the front of each classroom and on the vision, and energy of the person in the principal's chair.

I started my career as a social worker working with abused and neglected children in Chicago, Illinois and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1997, I relocated to Minnesota and was looking for a career change. I was indecisive about which direction to take but was sure that it would be working with "inner city" children. I narrowed my decision down to enrolling in law school or becoming a teacher. I became a substitute teacher and took pleasure in the personal contact that I had with students. I fell in love with teaching and applied to a competitive and rigorous teacher certification program named Collaborative Urban Educators through St. Thomas University. This program paid 100% tuition for people of color to become teachers in Minneapolis or St. Paul, Minnesota school districts. I was accepted and my career in education has been very fulfilling. I have worked as an elementary teacher, middle teacher, and principal. I am currently working as a principal coach with the Robbinsdale Area Schools.