Lawrence resigns as principal at the Learning Center; District 518 seeks replacement
“I really hope that they find someone that really sees the Learning Center as the gem that it is. Someone who really has a heart for serving the students and the families.”
WORTHINGTON — District 518 is seeking a new principal for its Learning Center, as Dakota Lawrence has resigned from the position effective June 30.
“I’m a very faith-based person and there was a lot of prayer that went into the situation,” Lawrence said. “My faith is more important than any job.”
While he initially didn’t have a job lined up prior to submitting his resignation earlier this month, he has since received an offer from Venture Upward, which partners with schools to create online home education programs for kindergarten through eighth grade students.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “But I’m really sad to leave here. It’s been a really great year, and I’m looking forward to the last four months (at the Learning Center) as well.”
The Learning Center principal position includes supervision of day and evening programs at the Learning Center, as well as targeted services, summer school and District 518’s online learning program, VIBE. The online learning program is still in the process of being re-established after having been terminated by the Minnesota Department of Education last year, with the expectation of being ready for the start of the 2023-24 school year.
“We’re happy for Mr. Lawrence, but we’re sad to see him go, because he’s doing a good job in the role,” said Superintendent John Landgaard. “We’d have loved to have him stay in that role, but other things are changing his mind and he’s looking at other opportunities.”
In the search for a replacement for Lawrence, the superintendent hopes to find a candidate who understands kids, communicates well and has strong leadership skills.
“I really hope that they find someone that really sees the Learning Center as the gem that it is,” said Lawrence, who started in his position July 1. “Someone who really has a heart for serving the students and the families.”
The best part of the job is interacting with students and the community, as the people are what the position is truly about, he added. Its biggest challenge, often, is shifting the community’s mindset about the school, which offers a great quality education and meets students where they’re at.
“We just have the ability to be a little more flexible and help (students) with their needs,” Lawrence said.