We are excited to announce the next principal of St. Anthony Village High School. Norman Bell has accepted the offer and will begin July 1, 2022. Superintendent Dr. Corneille shared, “Norman believes all students can learn at high levels. His background and experiences emanate qualities of a true leader. I could tell he is focused on creating welcoming and inclusive schools for students and staff and I believe he is best qualified to help us achieve our success metrics. All in all, he brings a lot of energy and passion to this work.”
Bell grew up in St. Paul and considers St. Paul his home. After graduating from Highland Park in St. Paul, Bell attended Arkansas Tech University and is currently working on his doctorate degree at Hamline University. Bell is currently serving as an Associate Principal in the White Bear Lake School District and has also served as an Assistant Principal and School Counselor in the St. Paul Public Schools. “I believe I was put on this earth to help students achieve,” said Bell.
Charlie Iyegha, a junior who served on the student interview committee, commented, “Right when he walked in, his energy showed up and it was clear he is dedicated to putting students first. I know students who don’t think they will be able to do anything and Norman wants to help students achieve. His energy and drive are contagious.”
“One leadership quality I strive for was exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi who said, ‘a sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have but how many leaders you create,’" Bell said. "My goal is to create student leaders and teacher leaders in St. Anthony.”
“I connected with his leadership and believe others will as well. For our students–all students–it will be powerful and life changing to have a person like Norman in their lives,” said Kari D’averill, a parent who served on the interview committee. “I’m thrilled and there is no other place I’d rather be. I want to grow as part of the community of St. Anthony Village,” said Bell.
In previous communications, we outlined the hiring process. Applications were reviewed and screened using a rubric created from the survey data which indicated the most important characteristics in the next principal. The top fourteen applicants were then forwarded for community feedback. Over three days, staff and parents reviewed the redacted applications and provided feedback on the candidates. The feedback was used to identify and invite six candidates for interviews on Monday, March 28, 2022.
There were four steps to our interview process: candidates took a tour of the high school with Bonnie Brever, engaged in a 30 minute interview with a panel of nine high school students, participated in a 60 minute interview with a panel of fourteen consisting of students, teachers, administrators, and parents, and completed a writing project. We had an impressive pool of candidates and feedback from both interview committees determined three finalists. Principals Maria Roberts, Amy Kujawski, and Interim Principal Andrew Hodges joined Dr. Corneille for final interviews with candidates on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
“I appreciate the commitment of our school community to participate and provide feedback at various points in this candidate selection and interview process. I admire the thoughtfulness of our interview panels who analyzed the strengths of each candidate and how they align with our commitment to the success of all learners through developmental relationships and relevant and rigorous instruction in the classroom,” said Dr. Corneille.