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Maple Grove Voice

Rice Lake Elementary Principal to Retire

May 10, 2016 02:48PM ● By Wendy Erlien

After 18 years as principal in the Osseo School District, Mark French will be retiring in June and make a move to the Hopkins School District.

His retirement comes after serving as principal for that last 11 years at Rice Lake Elementary

“I have enjoyed my work in District 279 and will cherish the relationships I’ve made with students, families, and colleagues. My work in Osseo has allowed me to grow and develop personally and professionally and I will take my experiences with me in my new role in the Hopkins School District,” French said.

His last day with the Osseo School District is June 30. French will begin a new role as the Gatewood Elementary Principal July 1.

“The position of Principal at Gatewood STEM Elementary School was appealing to me as it’s my home district,” French said. “I get to use my background of ten years working in math, science, and technology schools; and I have a passion for using technology to support teaching, learning, and communication.”

The new principal at Rice Lake Elementary has not yet been named. The district is hiring for two elementary principal positions (Zanewood and Rice Lake) and both principals will be identified through a “single hiring process,” according to Osseo School District School/Community Relations Director Barbara Olson.  As part of the hiring process, input is being gathered from staff and families at each school. The new principals at both schools are anticipated to be named in early June.

French started his teaching career in Houston as a sixth-grade teacher, later moving to Minnesota to teach at St. Paul Public Schools and The Blake Schools and later to serve as the assistant principal of North End Elementary. In 1998, he took a principal position at Osseo Area Schools, serving as principal at Oak View Elementary and Rice Lake Elementary.

“I will miss everyone in District 279 and I am excited for this next adventure in my education career,” French said. 

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