August 15, 2017
Dear St. Anthony Park Families:
I am excited and honored to be starting my first year as principal St. Anthony Park Elementary. It’s like coming home for me: I attended here as a student in the 1970s, and I have been a parent of two St. Anthony Park students for the past six years. I know first-hand how special this school is! I have been a principal in St. Paul Public Schools for six years, and worked as a teacher and administrator in other roles since 1993.
The job of any new leader is to listen to and learn from the people in the organization she has joined, and that is what I plan to do this year. I hope to learn from our staff and families what makes this school great so that we can continue and build upon it. The first step is meeting all of you. I will be as available as I can to meet you, get to know your family, and share a little about myself. I will remember as many names as humanly possible! When you are in the building, please stop in the office to introduce yourself. (I am most comfortable with first names with adults, so you can always call me Karen. Kids will address me as Dr. Duke.) I look forward to meeting each of you and to working as a partner in educating your children.
This will be a year of change as we watch the progress of construction on our building. Throughout the process, I will do my best to communicate with you and update you on the project. I ask for your patience and flexibility as we all navigate the inconveniences that are bound to arise. Throughout the dust, noise and moving, we will keep our eyes on the prize: a beautiful, new, state-of-the-art school facility that will serve us for many generations to come.
We will send out letters to families on August 24 with teacher assignments, a map of the building, and other information. Please pay particular attention to drop-off and pick-up procedures – we will still have construction on our site all year. Updated information will be available on our website – check back often.
Please note that we are not having a school-wide open house this year, due to the construction. Teachers are not able to get back into classrooms until later than usual this year, and they need every minute to prepare for the first day of school. On the first day, you are welcome to come in, meet the teacher, see the classroom, and drop off school supplies with your child.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with you as part of this amazing community of learning. My door is always open to talk with you, so please do not hesitate to reach out.
Karen E Duke, PhD