The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

From words to action

A new voice at Park determined to make her mark
Fair use by St. Louis Park Public Schools
Fair use by St. Louis Park Public Schools

Park’s mission statement says that, “St. Louis Park Public Schools sees, inspires and empowers each learner to live their brilliance in an environment that centers student voice and experience to create racially equitable learning that energizes and enhances the spirit of our community.” On March 18, the school board announced Dr. Carlondrea Hines as the next superintendent. She is expected to begin her role as superintendent starting July 1.

After the announcement, board chair Colin Cox said he feels secure in letting Hines lead Park because of her aspirations and experiences, which ultimately align with Park’s values.

“While both finalists posed unique strengths, Dr. Hines’ experience and values aligned powerfully with the district’s mission and core values,” Cox said. “Her educational leadership, dedication to student academic success and vision for racial equity transformation is impressive, and I’m confident she’ll lead our district with integrity and passion, advancing our strategic plan.”

Hines said Park’s plan to improve the education and achievement of all students is what first interested her about Park. According to her, she wants all students to feel understood and recognized, especially when they are at their best.

“The words that jumped out of that statement to me were ‘see, empower and inspire each learner to see their brilliance.’ I was like, ‘I’m all in,’” Hines said. “Because when you say, ‘I’m going to see you,’ we do see our students, but we don’t necessarily see them in a positive light. I am going to ensure that students are being seen in their positive light.”

According to Cox, Park is fighting to live up to their mission statement. However, he said he believes Hines will be dedicated to working towards these expectations.

“Our biggest struggle is being able to see, inspire and empower every single student,” Cox said. “Throughout the hiring process, Dr. Hines frequently spoke to this phrase. I think she will be highly focused on working toward this goal.”

In the school board’s finalist deliberation meeting, school board member Abdihakim Ibrahim said a few words the community decided to share about Hines.

“She understands the important work of equity and inclusion,” Ibrahim said. “She seems very trustworthy. She understands community builder excellence. She’s willing to reach out to those marginalized communities.”

According to Hines, she learned from the Institute for Courageous Leadership that Park’s focus is on removing the barriers in education that stops students with less influence from thriving.

“What excited and drove me to even put my name in the hat to be the superintendent was (when) I had an opportunity to do some learning with some administrators through the Institute for Courageous Leadership,” Hines said. “Through that process, I learned more about what (Park) was doing and (how they are trying to) dismantle systemic racism that is embedded in education that prevents certain students, particularly more marginalized students, from being successful.”

Ibrahim said he trusts that Hines will continue her work that she started in Eden Prairie and carry it to Park.

“I believe Dr. Hines has a plan, which is working in Eden Prairie, and she is willing to bring (it) here,” Ibrahim said.

Hines said she plans to make Park’s district the dream district that guarantees a good education for all students.

“I ran into the mayor in Eden Prairie yesterday,” Hines said. “I am excited because I told her we are going to make (Park) that destination district — the end city that everyone wants to be part of, that they want to live in. They want to ensure their kids are educated here; we are going to be that drop.”

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About the Contributor
Jesse Belen
Jesse Belen, Multimedia Editor
Hey everyone!! My name is Jesse. I’m a sophomore and a copy editor for Echo. I love to play as a goalkeeper for soccer so you can usually find me on the field but when I’m not playing I’m most often cozying up in a bunch of blankets reading a book or watching Gilmore Girls. I am so excited to continue my time in Echo!!! 

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