by Cori Hilsgen
Dr. Judy Nagel began her new position Aug. 6 as principal at Kennedy Community School for the 2013-14 school year.
Nagel will serve as interim principal and will replace Diane Moeller, who is now the district’s assistant superintendent.
“I applied for the Kennedy position because of its excellent reputation, supportive community and the great things I heard about Kennedy Community School and St. Cloud Area School District,” Nagel said.
She said she is working closely with Moeller, administrative assistant Patti Imholte and engineer Dave Ertl to ensure a smooth transition. She said she has heard from many people that she has some big shoes to fill by replacing Moeller.
“She (Moeller) was very well respected,” she said.
Nagel said the year will be a lot of look, listen and learn.
“I hope to continue and build upon the culture of excellence and achievement at Kennedy with our students, families and staff,” Nagel said, “and look forward to working with everyone.”
Nagel earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, majoring in psychology and minoring in health education. She earned a master’s degree in special education (emotional/behavioral disorders) from Mankato State University and a doctorate in education leadership, policy and administration from the University of St. Thomas. She is licensed to teach Emotional Behaviorial Disorder and learning disabilities and has administrative licenses as a K-12 principal, director of special education and superintendent.
Nagel said she has taught and enjoys every grade level. She believes there are lots of opportunities, growth stages and transitions that occur at each level.
After graduating from college, Nagel worked as a paraprofessional with early childhood and elementary students while she completed her coursework for her teaching credentials. Her first teaching position began in Winsted-Crow River schools where she taught K-12th grade.
Nagel next worked at Prior Lake-Savage schools and taught K-6th grade. She then taught 9-12th grade at Minnetonka High School until she became the district supervisor of student support services. Nagel next became the assistant principal at Chaska Middle School East and also Waconia High School. She has also served on several boards.
Nagel lives in St. Cloud. She has one sister who teaches third grade. Her mother is a retired medical secretary and her stepfather is a semi-retired farmer. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends and attending various activities, collecting antiques and reading.
Other Kennedy staff employees are scheduled to return to school for staff development on Aug. 26.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.