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New assistant principals hired at WHS

Woodbury High School has rounded out its administrators.

On Friday, District 833 announced the hires of Mark Canton and Chai Lee as Woodbury High School’s newest assistant principals.

Canton and Lee replace former WHS assistant principals Rob Bach and Todd Herber, who both left the district for principal positions elsewhere – Bach at Stillwater Area High School and Herber at Red Wing High School.

“The expertise and varied backgrounds they bring to our district and to Woodbury and Park high schools will support our continued efforts around student achievement,” District 833 Assistant Superintendent Julie Nielsen, said in a statement that also announced an assistant principal at Park.

Canton has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in social studies, a master’s degree in special education, and K-12 principal licensure from St. Cloud State University.

For the past 14 years, Canton has served as an administrator for both Big Lake High School and Big Lake Middle School in Big Lake, Minn.

In his roles as both principal and assistant principal at those schools, he introduced and implemented Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), developed a new daily schedule incorporating 25 percent more core instruction, and initiated 13 Advanced Placement and College in the School courses. Earlier in his career, Canton served as an emotional and behavioral disorders teacher and coach.

Prior to Big Lake, Canton served as assistant to the principal and a teacher in Cambridge, Minn.

“To help ensure students are successful, I believe students need to feel connected to their school community,” said Canton. “I am very committed to utilizing data and technology to improve learning and build character.”

Lee has a bachelor of science degree from Winona State University in Winona, Minn., a master’s of education degree from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in education leadership and K-12 principal licensure from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis.

Most recently Lee served as an assistant principal at Inver Grove Heights Middle School.

Previously, Lee also worked as an assistant principal at Patrick Henry High School where he helped reduce student suspension by 60 percent and increase the school’s graduation rate to 73 percent.

Lee has also worked with Minneapolis Public Schools at the Hmong International Academy as a curriculum specialist in the district’s English Language Department and as a teacher at both North High School and Folwell Middle School.

“My successful experience in creating and leading collaborative learning environments using best and research-based practices will support the South Washington County School District’s vision,” Lee said. “I will ignite our diverse learners to accomplish their dreams and to contribute positively to our local and global communities.”

Canton and Lee will join current assistant principal Ginger Garski and recently hired Principal Sarah Sorenson-Wagner.

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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