District 196 Superintendent Mary M. Kreger announced the hiring of Drew Mons to be the next principal of Apple Valley High School.
Mons has worked for the Mounds View Public Schools for the last seven years, first as the dean of students at Irondale High School and for the last five years as the school’s associate principal. He will replace Michael Bolsoni, who in May was hired to be the district’s director of secondary education. Mons will take over as principal at Apple Valley July 1.
“I am excited to become part of the Apple Valley High School learning community and its tradition of success in academics, the arts and athletics,” Mons said. “I feel honored to join a school where students and staff embrace a ‘STEM for All’ philosophy and are encouraged to try new things and help others succeed. The dedicated staff at Apple Valley have created something very special.”
Supported by a $3 million grant from the U.S. departments of education and labor in 2014, Apple Valley launched its E3 STEM program focusing on exploration, education and employment in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Through partnerships with businesses and colleges, the program has expanded students’ opportunities for hands-on learning and exposure to career pathways in STEM-related fields. Students are able to earn college credits in some of their coursework and experience real-world learning through internships with business partners. The grant also funded creation of Apple Valley’s fabrication lab, or “fab lab,” which has equipment and machines that give students the ability to design and make almost anything they can imagine. In January, Apple Valley received a national STEM Excellence Award for the school’s innovative approaches to implementing STEM education.
As an associate principal at Irondale, Mons supervised teachers in four departments, designed the school’s master schedule and implemented academic and social-emotional programming to support the district’s equity promise to prepare all students for post-secondary success regardless of race, class, gender or disability. He also developed a plan for school-wide adoption of restorative practices to build community and address behavior concerns, and used data to identify and correct disproportionate student enrollments in high-rigor courses.
Mons started his career as a math teacher at schools in Columbia Heights and Mahtomedi, then was hired as a teacher and administrative intern at Cretin-Derham Hall High School, where he worked from 2001 to 2012. Mons has a bachelor’s degree in communications, a master’s degree in education and a specialist degree in educational leadership, all from the University of St. Thomas.