Herald Journal, March 7, 2005
LP native Kelli Parpart named middle school principal of the year
By Heidi Stutelberg
With the honor of being selected as middle level principal of the year of Minnesota, Kelli Ann Parpart, formerly of Lester Prairie, will be traveling to Washington, DC next fall to attend an awards banquet.
As a result of her selection, Parpart will be in competition for the national principal of the year awards, sponsored jointly by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York City and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) of Virginia.
Parpart was nominated by a staff member of Brooklyn Junior High School, where she has been the lead principal for the past five years.
Prior to her current position, Parpart was the assistant principal for three years and also taught English at the Coon Rapids High School for 10 years.
Parpart, daughter of Willie and Barb Parpart, attended Lester Prairie High School.
“I had phenomenal teachers at Lester Prairie High School; outstanding,” Parpart said.
Emphasizing that she enjoyed all of her teachers, there were two teachers she remembers most. They were her English teachers, Chuck Thiel and Bob Henning.
“I need to give a ton of credit to my parents and the interactions at Lester Prairie High School. It was a very good experience for me,” she said.
Parpart recalls how her parents had stressed the importance of a good education.
As principal of a junior high school, she loves the energy and excitement of the teenagers, commenting, “You’re never bored.”
Her goal as principal is to ensure that every single child makes a connection with an adult in the school system. It doesn’t always have to be with a teacher. It can be with a custodian or a cook as well.
“Too many kids don’t have a positive connection,” Parpart said.
Next fall, Parpart will join other state honorees at the Principals Institute in Washington, D.C.
Four finalists will receive a $1,500 grant from MetLife, and two national winners a $5,000 grant to improve learning at their schools.
In addition, the two national honorees and four finalists will be honored guests of NASSP at the Association’s annual convention in New Orleans in March of 2006.