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Menard Returning as Rockford High School Principal

Rockford Area Schools is proud to announce Paul Menard will be returning as Rockford High School principal for the 2020-2021 academic year. He had been working as interim principal since January 2020.

Interim Superintendent Rhonda Dean said, “Principal Menard has done an amazing job as interim at Rockford High School, especially during these unprecedented times. We look forward to his leadership as we continue to deal with this pandemic as well as moving forward with the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program.”

In speaking of his past, Menard said, “Born and raised in Minnesota, I experienced the challenge and opportunity of attending PK-12 schooling in five buildings across three school districts. This is where I learned at a young age the importance of how a school community and culture can help (or hinder) student success. In my time as a student, a teacher, and an administrator, I have worked hard to build positive culture, help all students feel safe and welcome, and believe they can surpass their goals while realizing their vast skill set and sources of inspiration.”

Menard received his Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, and taught English and Theater for Chisago Lakes High School. After becoming engaged, he relocated to the St. Cloud area and taught Theater and English, coached middle school baseball, and directed the fall play, winter one-act, and spring musical for years. “In my time teaching, I learned to make genuine connections with students through humor, honest conversation, and a sincere interest in their aspirations,” said Menard.

After obtaining his Masters of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Cincinnati, Menard served as an Assistant Principal for four years at Saint John’s Prep School in Collegeville, MN. During this time, working alongside his colleagues, they launched the first International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) in an independent school in an eight-state radius and, at the time, the second IB DP outside of the Twin Cities metro area. “In my capacity, I helped with coordinator duties, managed CAS, and taught Language A1: English Literature.” said Menard, “More importantly, we saw the positive consequences of collaborating across departments, providing teachers resources for success, and educating students and families about the program structure and demand to, ultimately, garner more external recognition for the hard work already being spent on some of our most challenging course options.”

His family then moved to Rochester, MN where he obtained his K-12 principal certification from the University of Minnesota. Menard served as principal for four years before deciding to enter higher education in order to begin pursuing his Ph.D. Menard spent the last two years at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI as the Director of Teacher Education. He stated, “I appreciated this venture as I was able to interface with student transitions to higher education first-hand as an advisor, engage in intensive studies surrounding leadership theory, and work with veteran educators and administrators from diverse backgrounds.”

Menard went on to say that his hopes for the future of Rockford High School are to maintain and strengthen the culture of Rockford High School, enhance relationships with all students, continue to educate and engage stakeholders through the IB process, and prepare students for college and career readiness through strong leadership, aligned priorities, and a common goal for all students to realize their potential.