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A royal farewell

Woodbury High School Principal Linda Plante will retire this year after 12 years at the school. She has been with District 833 for 20 years and in education since 1968. (Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith)

The textbook will close on Woodbury High School Principal Linda Plante’s storied career.

Plante will retire at the end of the school year after 12 years as principal at WHS.

The Cottage Grove resident has been with District 833 for a total of 20 years.

“It was a tough decision because I still do really love the job,” she said. “My husband and I want to travel and we feel that this is just a really good time to call it quits and let someone else take over.”

A love for school

Working in education always seemed like a natural fit for Plante, she said, because she always loved school growing up.

“I heard someone say one time that you should never be a teacher unless you love school,” she said, “and I love school.

“I’ve just always loved school so it was kind of natural to go into education.”

Plante started her career in 1968 teaching high school English in Wisconsin.

“I love talking about books and reading,” she said. “When you talk about novels with high school students, you get such incredibly interesting discussions in the class

“High school students have so much insight, so it keeps your mind engaged.”

Plante’s career took her to Missouri, back to Wisconsin and eventually to Minnesota where she immersed herself in the administrative side of education.

“I have a Type A personality, so I wanted to be involved in making the decisions about education,” she said.

Within District 833, Plante has served as assistant principal at Park High School and principal at Oltman Junior High School before finding her way to WHS.

During her time at WHS, Plante has seen many changes and accolades over the years – welcoming freshman in 2009, the launch of the high school Spanish immersion program, athletic wins and student achievements.

Students first

When it comes to education, Plante said her philosophy revolves around the students.

“We need to keep the students first,” she said. “Everybody says we are in this for the students, but you really have to live it.

“Those kids are only going to be high school students once in their life so we really have an obligation to get it right.”

Plante said some of her favorite memories during her time at WHS come from the students – the performances and sporting events.

“Just seeing kids shine is what is really special,” she said.

Plante said it’s going to be hard to leave the students, but she hopes to leave the school in good hands with whoever becomes her successor.

“I’m hoping for a person who knows the district and who can hit the deck running,” she said. “I want them to carry on the traditions of the district.”

Plante will still be keeping an eye on WHS though since her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren still call Woodbury home.

“I’ll still be watching Woodbury and District 833 through the eyes of those kids,” she said. “I’ll miss the evenings where you go to the basketball game and it takes up your evening though.”

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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