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October 23, 2018

9/14/2017 2:40:00 PM
A new school year is at hand

I am honored to introduce myself as the Superintendent of the Chisago Lakes Public Schools!  My name is Dean Jennissen, and I am looking forward to serving the students, staff, and families in these beautiful cities with fantastic schools.  My wife Lisa, who is also an educator, and I have been married for nearly 28 years.  We have two beautiful, grown daughters, who, we like to say, “are off the payroll” working as a Speech-Language Pathologist and an Agronomist.  They too, are excited about mom and dad’s move to the Chisago Lakes Area and will be visiting often as they both live in the east metro.

I come from a large farming family, growing up part of my life in Sauk Centre, MN, and later graduating from high school in Staples, MN.  I attended Willmar Community College and then the “Harvard of the North”, St. Cloud State, graduating with a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Coaching. I returned to SCSU for my Graduate work. My first teaching position was in Osakis, MN, grades 3-6 and then to Dassel-Cokato where I was a 4th Grade Teacher.  I served in the Middle School at DC as the Dean of Students and then at Annandale Middle School as the Principal.  For the past ten years I have been the Principal at Dassel-Cokato High School and ALC.  

Throughout my career I was also involved in coaching football, baseball, softball, and wrestling.  An enjoyable aspect of my career path is that I have worked with students, athletes, families, and staff at all levels.  I feel this is a great advantage when it comes to relating to the experiences of all that I serve because we’ll have a connection - a shared experience  I believe it is connectedness that builds relationships and creates the type of culture where we all feel like we belong.  As Superintendent, I plan to be a cheerleader, coach, and champion for every student, staff member and family… roles I am looking forward to fulfilling!       

Having completed my first week, I am starting to sense the magic, that special ingredient that has helped the Chisago Lakes Schools become a Top 150 WorkPlace, and our communities among America’s Best Communities.  That ingredient is cohesiveness.  A togetherness much like the big family I grew up in.  Growing up with eleven siblings, you learn much.  Like when you pack 12 children in a camper for a week and head to the Grand Canyon, you realize really quickly the ride is more enjoyable when we work together as a family. As with my family and Chisago Lakes,we are all in it together.  At Chisago Lakes we are one.   The school is the community and the community is the school.  Looking from the outside in, there are great things happening Chisago Lakes!  In my role, I hope to help build upon the solid foundation that has been laid by our schools staff, community leaders and retiring Superintendent Joe Thimm.  I consider it a honor and privilege to be involved in public service and to have joined the Chisago Lakes Area school and community “family”!

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