ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – District 196 Superintendent Jane K. Berenz announced the hiring of Dr. Cathy Kindem to be the next principal of Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences in Eagan, one of five elementary magnet schools in the district.
Kindem currently oversees the district’s magnet schools, including the K-12 STEM pathway of schools, as well as math, science and STEM education as part of her role as a coordinator in the Teaching and Learning Department. On July 1, she will begin leading Oak Ridge as its principal. Kindem will replace Cindy Magnuson, who is returning to the classroom to be a teacher after serving as Oak Ridge principal the past three years.
Kindem started her career in District 196 in 2001 as a grade 5 teacher at Diamond Path Elementary School. In 2007, she was hired as a science specialist to be part of the team that transformed Cedar Park Elementary School into one of the district’s first three elementary magnet schools, Cedar Park Elementary STEM School. While at Cedar Park, Kindem was named the 2011 Minnesota Elementary Science Teacher of the Year and in 2012 she was the Minnesota educator selected to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from the White House.
In 2012, Kindem moved to the District Office to become coordinator of innovative educational programs and since 2014 she has been a coordinator in Teaching and Learning Department.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the amazing students, staff, families and supportive community members at Oak Ridge,” said Kindem, who helped convert Oak Ridge to a magnet school two years ago. “It will be a joy to become part of the school community.”
Kindem has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a master’s degree in education from Hamline University, where she also earned her principal licensure and doctorate in education.