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Groveland Park Elementary Announces New Principal

Dear Groveland Park Elementary School Families and Staff, 

I am pleased to share with you that I have selected a new leader for Groveland Park Elementary. Please join me in welcoming Sarah Lightner as your school’s new principal beginning in the 2020-21 school year.  

Ms. Lightner brings a wealth of experience in helping all students feel represented and accepted for who they are. She has served as a school social worker and Dean of Students at Valley View Elementary School in Bloomington Public Schools, and most recently, as assistant principal for Battle Creek Elementary School. Ms. Lightner understands the importance of collaborating with staff and families and embracing the unique gifts that each child brings.

Throughout her career, she has created schoolwide systems to improve student achievement, strengthened reading, writing and math programming, and built relationships between students and staff to create a positive school culture.

As a Groveland and Ramsey parent who lives in the neighborhood, Ms. Lightner is proud to continue the great work of Groveland Park Elementary. She is excited to join a school community that works together to ensure every child has what they need to learn.  

Ms. Lightner has excellent academic qualifications with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in Spanish from Luther College, her Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, and a Specialist in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University - Mankato. 

Principal Pedersen and Ms. Lightner will work together to ensure a smooth transition and a strong start to the new school year. To help, please take a moment to complete a short survey ( This survey is an opportunity to help your new principal understand the values and priorities of your school community. 

We will work together to determine different opportunities to meet and engage with Ms. Lightner, following state orders and health guidelines, before school starts in the fall. If you have any questions, please contact me at 651-767-8152. Thank you for supporting Groveland Park Elementary School. 



Joe Gothard