District 196 Superintendent Jane K. Berenz today announced the hiring of Lauren Trainer to be the next principal at the School of Environmental Studies.
Trainer has been a special education coordinator for District 196 since 2013, overseeing Dakota Ridge School, a K-12 school for students who face social, emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD). She replaces Dan Bodette, who retired at the end of last school year after a 22-year career in District 196, all as principal at the School of Environmental Studies.
Prior to joining District 196, Trainer worked for Intermediate District 917 in Rosemount as an EBD teacher from 2008 to 2011 and a lead teacher from 2011 to 2013. She was also an EBD teacher for Special School District 6 in South St. Paul from 2007 to 2008.
“Working at Dakota Ridge for the last four years has been an incredible privilege,” Trainer said, “and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to work with the students, families and staff in the School of Environmental Studies learning community. The mission of the school is unique and so important.”
The School of Environmental Studies is an optional high school for juniors and seniors located on the grounds of the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. The 400-student school opened in 1995 as part of a partnership between the district, the city of Apple Valley and state of Minnesota. The school offers students a blend of rigorous academic study and applied fieldwork focused on environmental topics and issues.
Trainer has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the College of St. Catherine, a master’s degree in education from Augsburg College and director of special education and principal licensure from the University of St. Thomas.