FSMN Interim Head of School Appointed

Friends School of Minnesota Names New Interim Head of School

St. Paul, Minnesota, May 22, 2020 — Friends School of Minnesota (FSMN) is extremely pleased to announce that Joe Mueller will become the school’s seventh Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.

Joe was a finalist in FSMN’s Head of School search in 2015. His constructivist and progressive educational philosophy, evidenced in both his teaching and administrative roles, aligns beautifully with FSMN’s academic program and culture. In addition to his extensive classroom experience, Joe has served as a junior high assistant principal for two years, and an elementary school principal for three years. Joe brings considerable strengths in: 1) supporting faculty through collaboratively focused professional learning communities, 2) advancing equity work through strategic planning and developing a supportive discipline model, and 3) managing operations, compliance with federal and local regulations, and staff at educational institutions. He is excited to continue FSMN’s progress in working with students with diverse learning needs and to engage in the school culture- and relationship-building with faculty, staff and community necessary after several years of leadership instability.

Joe is looking forward to his new role in the FSMN community. “My faith in the vision and mission of this school, its community, and the principles of progressive education runs deep. We have entrusted Friends School of Minnesota with the education of our only child. FSMN’s commitment to respect, peace, community, equality, life-long learning, and spiritual awareness will ensure not only his academic, but also his human development. I am ready to double my faith in FSMN by making the protection of the school’s vision and mission my vocation.”

Joe is currently serving as principal at Linwood Elementary School, in the Forest Lake School District. Joe has a Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota and is currently working towards an educational doctorate from Hamline University. Joe loves the outdoors and is a member of Unity Unitarian, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in St. Paul.

The School Committee was united in their decision to appoint Joe Mueller, guided by the unanimous recommendation of the Interim Head of School appointment subcommittee. That sub-committee carried out an abbreviated appointment process to identify a strong educational leader to replace Rick Juliusson, who announced in March that he would be leaving at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

To ensure continuity of FSMN’s program during this challenging time, the
appointment process was opened to current FSMN community members. The aim was to find candidates quickly who would have deep understanding of our school’s program, and of its foundations in progressive education and Quaker values. After a period of discernment about our leadership structure, FSMN will undertake a broader process to name a permanent leader.

The FSMN School Committee is excited about Joe’s wealth of experience in
education and close connection to the FSMN community. We feel fortunate to have Joe step into this role at a critical time in our school’s trajectory. The School Committee believes Joe will lead with a deep respect for and solid understanding of our core mission and values, with integrity and clarity of vision, and with a collaborative spirit.

FSMN is a thriving, independent, K-8 Quaker school in the heart of St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. In the tradition of more than 80 Friends Schools across the United States, FSMN meets children’s intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs in an environment that nurtures their social consciousness. FSMN is a vibrant and stable institution known for its rich, progressive curriculum; commitment to community; acclaimed conflict resolution program; and holistic, joyful approach to educating children.

FSMN is dedicated to its mission: to prepare children to embrace life, learning, and community with hope, skill, understanding and creativity. We are committed to the Quaker values of peace, justice, simplicity and integrity.

Learn more about Friends School of Minnesota at fsmn.org

Eileen Galvin
1365 Englewood Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104

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