Thanks to Cardinal Corner, Jameson’s Irish Bar, and Block Portrait Studios for their support.
The Optimist Club of West St. Paul named retiring Moreland Principal Mark Quinn their Optimist of the Year earlier this afternoon. Nominated by a fellow staff member Aline Kies, Quinn was surprised during a staff meeting as the Optimist Club “prize patrol” interrupted the meeting with cowbells and the announcement.
Why: The nomination noted a dozen ways Quinn makes a difference in the lives of students every day.
- In a recent Q&A from ISD 197 Quinn explained how likes to help students find their spark: “I have enjoyed helping students find their spark—something they are interested in or the thing that gets them excited about school and learning. One way we’ve done that is by having fourth graders serve as the assistant principal. Each week, a new fourth grader serves as the assistant principal to help in the office, read the morning announcements, and take on a leadership role. We choose the kids we know are up for it, but we also try to pick the kids who might need a boost in confidence. By the end of the week, you can see the growth in so many of them—more confidence in themselves and more determination to go back to the classrooms and work hard. “
Bonus: Quinn received a plaque, a gift card and balloons, and an invitation to ride with the Optimist Club in the Explore West St. Paul Days parade on Saturday, June 10.
Background: Quinn has been the principal at Moreland Arts and Health Sciences School since 2015. His career spans 35 years and includes substitute teaching, a stint teaching in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Spanish immersion in Robbinsdale, and a principal in the Minneapolis Public Schools.
Big shoes to fill: Quinn’s replacement, Rob Sahli, was named last month.
More: Learn more about past Optimist of the Year recipients and the Optimist Club of West St. Paul.
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(Photo credit: Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet School.)