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Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School Announces New Principal

Dear Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary Community, 


I am pleased to share with you that I have selected a new leader for Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School. Please join me in welcoming Elias Oguz as your school’s new principal beginning in the 2021-22 school year.


Mr. Oguz brings a variety of experience in helping all students feel represented and accepted for who they are. He has served students for 20 years as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and most recently, as executive director of Minnesota Math and Science Academy.


Mr. Oguz understands the importance of collaborating with staff and families and embracing the unique gifts that each student brings. He looks forward to partnering with families, students, staff and the community to continue the great work at Obama Elementary School.


Mr. Oguz is an equity leader who values communication and works hard to provide access and opportunity for all students. He plans to provide a clear vision for Obama Elementary School that honors the school’s past, while looking to the future.


Mr. Oguz has excellent academic qualifications with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, a Master of Education degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education in Indiana, and an Education Specialist degree / Principal Licensure from Minnesota State University -- Mankato.


Principal Niceta Thomas and Mr. Oguz 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 Mr. Oguz 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 your student and Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School. 



Joe Gothard