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Reichelt is hired as new ARES principal

Lakeville resident Lisa Reichelt has been hired as the new principal at Akin Road Elementary School. She begins her new job July 29.

Akin Road Elementary School students will be greeted by a new principal when they come back to school this fall.

On Monday, the Farmington School Board officially hired Lisa Reichelt as the new principal of Akin Road Elementary School. She replaces Laura Pierce, who was named as District 192's director of Innovation Zone in June.

A 20-year resident of Lakeville, Reichelt is very familiar with the Farmington school district. She taught in Lakeville for 12 years before deciding she might like to be an administrator. She went back to school, got her administration degree and was hired as principal at Holy Cross Catholic School in Webster.

Reichelt has been at Holy Cross Catholic School for seven years. Holy Cross has a body of students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, and draws students primarily from New Market, Lonsdale and Veseli. She enjoyed her time there, but decided to apply when she saw Farmington had an opening for a principal.

"I was ready for some new changes and challenges in my career," Reichelt said.

Approximately 50 people applied for the vacant ARES position, superintendent Jay Haugen said. Reichelt was one of four finalists, and completed three interviews before she was selected. By the last interview, Haugen said, it was clear she would be a good fit in Farmington.

"The day she was here with us, when we talked about the things we were doing, about our strategic plan and so on, she was so familiar with it, it was just like she was here and helped us write it," Haugen said. "She had answers to things we know we need answers for and don't have yet.

"Her own professional knowledge of the field and drive to be part of something great, they were all things that stood out about her," Haugen said.

Reichelt was ready for a bigger school, certainly, but she's even more excited about the direction she sees Farmington's school district heading. With the use of iPads in the schools, the integration of technology and customized learning plans for every student, Reichelt is looking forward to supporting the teachers and students of her new school.

"With all of the technology, as well as the customized learning plans, we will be able to analyze what works and what doesn't for each student," she said. "What works for one child isn't necessarily going to work for another."

Riechelt officially begins her new job on July 29, but she was at Monday's joint city council and school board meeting, and she attended Tuesday's administrative staff meeting.

"She knew everybody around the table by name," Haugen said. "She really picks up on things. We're excited that she's here."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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