Return to Headlines

Earle Brown Elementary STEAM hires two new assistant principals

Jeff Wilson and Penny Dupris September 7, 2018 – Penny Dupris and Jeff Wilson were hired as assistant principals at Earle Brown Elementary STEAM. They started their new positions on Monday, August 27.

Dupris was most recently an interim assistant principal at St. Louis Park High School. She was also an elementary school teacher in St. Louis Park. Throughout her career, Dupris has dedicated her time to creating equitable communities for students of color.

“We’re excited to have Penny join our team because she prides herself on being a leader who celebrates all students to have voices in our community,” said principal Randy Koch. “Penny prioritizes working in partnership with families to best serve the needs of our students.”

Dupris is a an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in Eagle Butte, SD. She has a B.A. in International Business from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and began her career in the corporate world.

“During my corporate world work experience, I was raising my nephew and volunteered in his school,” Dupris said. “I discovered that education and being around children was spiritually fulfilling and that education is my calling.”

After several years of teaching, Dupris decided to pursue administration to make a greater impact for more students. She enrolled at the University of St. Thomas (UST) and received a M.A. in education and an elementary teaching license. Dupris has also obtained an administrator’s license and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at UST. Her dissertation focuses on a high school that increased graduation rates for their Native American students from 20 percent to 90 percent.

“I hope my research will provide an exemplar for other schools to increase their graduation rates for students of color,” she said.

Dupris is excited to join Brooklyn Center Community Schools and the Earle Brown family because of its commitment to students and families and to work with our talented and dedicated staff members.

“As a Native educator, learning environments where students of color thrive academically, socially and emotionally are important to me,” Dupris said. “I'm excited to build relationships with parents, families and students this year. My goal is to help our students succeed academically, socially and emotionally. I want our students to love learning and to be excited about coming to school every day.”

In her free time, Dupris enjoys biking, swimming, downhill skiing, Pilates, reading, going to the movies and traveling.

Wilson was most recently principal in the Hinkley School District. He has also served as an administrator in Renville County West and Anoka Hennepin Schools. Wilson started his career at Dayton’s Bluff Elementary in St. Paul Public Schools.

“Jeff is passionate about supporting each student’s needs and helping marginalized students have access to the best education setting,” Koch said.

Wilson received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA and a M.A. in Education Administration from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis.

Koch was hired this summer and Wilson was drawn to Earle Brown after reading an article in which Koch said, "If you’re not willing to work with me in changing the reality of this school, then you need to leave the room right now. But if you’re willing to go on this incredible journey, this will be your rock star moment.”

“I had the opportunity to support another school district as an elementary teacher and have that rock star moment,” Wilson said. “I wanted this opportunity as an administrator to have another rock star moment and support the Earle Brown community.”

During this first year, Wilson’s focus will be to build relationships with students, families and school staff.

“When we had our open house last week, our students, families and staff were very engaging and you could feel this positive energy in the building in anticipation for the new school year,” Wilson said.

When not at work, Wilson enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching Iowa Hawkeye football, snowmobiling and hanging out with his 115-pound yellow lab, Herky.

Wilson feels called to work in education and to support Earle Brown this school year and beyond.

“I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with students everyday and be inspired by them.. there is nothing more rewarding or humbling.”