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Carlondrea Hines

New principal sees ‘fertile ground’ at Crosswinds

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New principal sees ‘fertile ground’ at Crosswinds
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School has only been in session for a couple months, but Carlondrea Hines, principal at Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School, is already juggling her time.


Hines has been doing double duty at both Crosswinds and Perpich Center for Arts Education, where she is also the principal.

Hines came to Crosswinds after Perpich, a state arts high school, took over control at Crosswinds when the East Metro Integration District decided to cut ties with the school.

“I came to Crosswinds after seeing this as fertile ground and as an opportunity to bring what Perpich does best to the east side of the Twin Cities,” Hines said. “Right now, I am finding that I’m spending more time at Crosswinds in order to create the climate and the culture that we want to have here.

“The high school can function very well without me being there every day.”

Road to education

Hines has been working in education for roughly 15 years, but it wasn’t the path she originally set out on.

While at the University of Minnesota, Hines earned her degree in agricultural business management only to realize later that it wasn’t her passion.

“I kind of realized that agricultural business management wasn’t really for me,” she said. “I really had to do some self-reflecting as to what I wanted to do with my life.”

Hines found her passion when she began thinking back to her time in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, which is based around public service.

During her sorority days, Hines was able to work with high school students in a variety of ways.

“When it came time to re-evaluate life in terms of what I wanted to do, I went back in my memory to what gave me joy, what made me feel fulfilled and that was connecting with high school students,” she said. “I found that I really enjoyed connecting to the youth and giving them some tricks and tips as to how to survive high school.”

Hines eventually went back to the University of Minnesota to earn her master’s degree in business education.

“I went back to school to do what I was passionate about” she said, “which was touching youth and preparing them for life.”

Hines taught business education in the Roseville Area School District before moving south to Mississippi with her husband.

After Mississippi, Hines and her family moved to Tennessee where she worked as a business education teacher, and eventually a professional development and school compliance coach.

“Eventually I was driven to make a decision on how I wanted to make the largest impact,” she said.

Hines returned to school to earn her doctorate in curriculum, instruction and leadership from Capella University and eventually moved back to Minnesota where she worked as the Advancement Via Individualized Distinction (AVID) coordinator at Roseville Area High school, as the dean of students for 12th grade at Burnsville High School, as an administrator at Envision Academy before going to Perpich last year.

Preparing for the future

Hines said she loves being in education because she enjoys helping students prepare for their futures.

“For a lot of our students high school is not the end – they’re going to continue learning” she said. “It’s not that they just need to get into any of those environments, they need to be successful in those environments.

“We can help get them into college, but we also need to give them the skills they need to graduate college.”

In terms of a philosophy, Hines said she believes students can go anywhere in life.

“I want to give students the encouragement that they don’t have to let their current situation determine their destiny,” she said. “I want to be known as the educator that provided students with a new lens, the lens of opportunities. I want students to be able to view opportunities and doors that they thought were closed to them.”

The Crosswinds culture

Hines said her vision for Crosswinds is to continue with the school’s vision while preparing students to make the choice of where to go next.

Crosswinds is not a feeder school for Perpich.

Hines said she is already enjoying her time at Crosswinds thanks to the school community as a whole.

“They have an ‘all hands on deck’ mentality,” she said.

Hines said she is looking forward to seeing where Crosswinds can go.

“It’s a fertile ground for whatever we intend to grow out of the current foundation,” she said. “It’s a fertile ground to help students identify what they do best and use that as they continue their academic careers.”

Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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