Former Pine City Principle Tryggestad Now In Eden Prairie

Monday, March 26th, 2012 at 6:53 am

Almost six months after Eden Prairie High School Superintendent Melissa Krull made headlines for resigning over a contentious boundary change plan, the Eden Prairie school board on Friday chose a man with ties to our community. Former secondary principal at Pine City Public Schools and current Little Falls Superintendent Curt Tryggestad has been selected as the leader who can move a very divided the district ahead.

Tryggestad steps into a difficult situation as the previous superintendent made the public very unhappy by changing school boundaries in Eden Prairie, drawing them so low-income students weren’t concentrated at one elementary school. Hundreds of parents signed petitions seeking the exit of the former superintendent, and then, to top it all off, the school board paid Tryggestad’s predicessor $100,000 to leave in September, nine months earlier than planned.

Tryggestad also served as the superintendent at Esko Public Schools after leaving Pine City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Luther College and a master’s degree from St. Cloud State University. He is working toward his doctorate. Tryggestad has been in tough situations before: When he took control of the Little Falls schools in 2006, he became the fifth superintendent in 10 years. He also inherited a school system that was in statutory operating debt.

Tryggestad told the Star Tribune that his philosophy has always been that when it comes time to make a major decision, he talks about it first with the board and then also with the community. His catchphrase is ‘Consult with the community, advise the board.’”

School leaders said they were drawn to Tryggestad because they think he’s an extraordinary communicator and a leader with vision.

The board must still negotiate a contract with Tryggestad. They are expected to offer him a salary in the range of $185,000 to $205,000. Tryggestad currently makes about $145,000 at Little Falls, Spillum said.

He is expected to take the helm of Eden Prairie schools on July 1.

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