New school year means new principal for Mounds View High School

Though summer’s not officially over, its all done for students, who woke up early, rubbed the sleep from their eyes, grabbed their backpacks and headed back to school the morning after Labor Day. 

Sept. 5 wasn’t the first day of school for just students — it also marked the first day of school for the new principal of Mounds View High School, Stephanie Bruggers. 

Following changes in district leadership this spring, the Mounds View Public School District shifted around administrative staff to fill positions for the new school year.

Jeff Ridlehoover, who held the high school’s principal position since 2013, was moved to the district offices to take over as assistant superintendent. He took over Chris Lennox’ former postion — Lennox moved into the superintendent’s office following Dan Hoverman’s retirement.

The district didn’t have to look far for Ridlehoover’s replacement. Bruggers was already an associate principal at the school and she officially took the position as the top administrative official at MVHS over the summer, in July.

 

Who is she?

Up until now, Bruggers was one of two associate principals working with Ridlehoover. This will be her third year at the high school. 

Prior to working for District 621, Bruggers spent three years working in Wayzata and 13 years in Osseo.

Her career in education began in 1998. Through the years, Bruggers has gained experience both as a teacher and working in administrative roles. 

For much of her career, she said she’s worked as an instructional coach at schools — conducting observations, leaving feedback, brainstorming ideas and offering general and specific support to teachers.

“There are many things that make me excited about taking on this position, but first and foremost, I’m excited about the student body we have here,” Bruggers said.

She noted that in her whole career she’s never seen a student body like that of MVHS, describing it as a “happy, healthy culture.”

“The students have a tremendous amount of freedom, but have responded in such an amazing way,” Bruggers said. “They’re also insanely respectful. The level of expectation is very high here, and students rise to the challenge.”

Bruggers, who studied education at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, acknowledged the school does have “areas to improve upon.”

Like many schools, she said one of the challenges MVHS faces is the achievement gap. 

“We need to tackle that head on,” she said, emphasizing that her goal is to “keep moving forward” and “to stay positive.”

Bruggers lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband, who also works in education, and their three school-age sons.

“It’s a busy life,” she said, “But I’m so lucky that I have a good support system around me.”

Part of that support, she said, is the school itself and her fellow educators. 

“It’s a tremendous community to be a part of.”

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815


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