New principal settles in at FootprintsA little more than a month into his first school year at Footprints Academy, principal Ed Cavin is still taking time getting to know each one of the K-6 school’s 90-plus students. But he’s already got a head start on some.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
A little more than a month into his first school year at Footprints Academy, principal Ed Cavin is still taking time getting to know each one of the K-6 school’s 90-plus students. But he’s already got a head start on some.
The former St. Andrew’s Academy head of school was hired in July to take the lead at Footprints in Woodbury. And he brought about 20 students from St. Andrew’s with him.
The Lutheran school, located in Mahtomedi, closed at the end of last school year, but Footprints reached out to many of the St. Andrew’s families in what the school’s founder and owner Nicole Robbins is calling an opportune partnership.
“It’s been an excellent experience for us so far, and it’s good timing for us as a school,” said Robbins, who founded Footprints Academy in 2002. “And to be able to bring someone in with Ed’s leadership experience is a real benefit.”
Cavin spent three years as head of school at St. Andrew’s. He said in coming to Footprints he doesn’t see any major shifts in his style of leadership and is excited to be able to lead the private, non-denominational school during a time of growth.
“I’m still sort of in the process of learning as much as quickly as I can,” said Cavin, who received his master’s degree in education administration from St. Thomas University. “The good thing is I found out pretty quickly that we have an excellent group of teachers to work with.”
Cavin is not too far removed from teaching in the classroom himself. Before his stint as head of school at St. Andrew’s he spent two years teaching fifth grade at the Minneapolis Jewish Day School in St. Louis Park.
Cavin said he has gravitated more toward the administrative side of education in the latter half of his career, but still enjoys the classroom aspect of his profession.
“I think I found that as much as I liked teaching and was reasonably good at it, that my skills were best utilized in the organizational framework aspect of education,” Cavin said. “As head of an independent school, you are involved more in not just education, but the business of education.”
In addition to his time as head of school at St. Andrew’s, Cavin spent time as head of school at Trinity Episcopal School in New Orleans, La. and St. Croix Academy in West Lakeland.
The Minnesota native said the foundation for his passion for smaller, independent schools is rooted partly in his first experience as a teacher at the Breck School in Minneapolis, and in his upbringing at an independent school.
Raised in Minneapolis, Cavin’s father taught at the University of Minnesota. Cavin attended the University of Minnesota’s elementary school and said the experience opened his eyes to the possibilities in education.
“It was pretty progressive school and had a lot of creative teaching,” Cavin said. “It was a fascinating experience and kind of broadened my view of elementary schools that they can do a really good job of engaging kids and following their interests to some extent.”
“That’s what we try to do here, and that’s what makes Footprints a great fit.”