ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Superintendent Jane Berenz announced the hiring of Scott Thomas to be the next principal of Echo Park Elementary School of Leadership, Engineering and Technology in Burnsville.
Thomas has been the principal of Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science in Eagan for the past four years. He will remain at Glacier Hills for the remainder of this school year and will begin his new position at Echo Park on July 1. Thomas will replace Pam Haldeman, who came out of retirement in 2016 to take over as principal at Echo Park.
“It is a great honor to be named principal of such a wonderful school that I have had the pleasure of knowing for many years,” Thomas said. “As a child, I remember playing on the Echo Park playground with my sister while visiting our uncle, who served as principal many years ago. Echo Park Elementary School of Leadership, Engineering and Technology is a community I am excited to get to know and lead.”
Echo Park is one of five elementary magnet schools in District 196. Magnet schools offer parents increased choice in their child’s education by providing a concentrated focus that offers innovative ways to meet students’ learning goals through a particular theme. Echo Park and Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences in Eagan are the district’s two newest magnet schools; both were converted to magnet schools for the start of 2016-17 school year.
Thomas was instrumental in developing District 196’s first three elementary magnet schools while serving as the district’s integration and educational equity coordinator from 2005 to 2012. He left to become executive director of Magnet Schools of America in Washington, D.C. for two years and returned to District 196 in 2014 to become principal of Glacier Hills. Thomas started his career in District 196 in 1998 as a social studies teacher at Apple Valley High School and Rosemount Middle School.
Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in social studies and secondary education from Minnesota State University, Mankato and earned his master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University. He also has K-12 education administrative licensure from Hamline University and superintendent licensure from Minnesota State University, Mankato.