|
Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • New director to help take ECHO charter school to the next level

  • As of Aug. 1, Ken Alexander is the director for the charter school, and he brings some unique experiences to the program....
    • email print
  • When students walked through the doors of the ECHO Charter School Monday at 8:15 a.m., they were greeted by a few unfamiliar faces. The school has seen some turnover heading into the 2014-15 school year, and those changes start at the top. As of Aug. 1, Ken Alexander, is the director for the charter school, and he brings some unique experiences to the program. Alexander, who is no stranger to charter schools, most recently helped start up the Vermillion Country Charter School in Tower. “I have been around innovative education for a long time,” said Alex-ander, who is originally from Florida. “I had a great education growing up and had a flood of experiences from mixed grades to student generated learning.” Those experiences convinced Alexander to pursue a degree in education later in life, which he earned at Bemidji State University. He also has a masters degree and administrative licensure and has focused so much of his education on those concepts of innovation in education. 
    Alexander said it was the allure of the outdoors that called him to the northern area of the United States, adding when he arrived charter schools were just starting to be part of the program. Now, he added, they are really growing, adding the Minnesota Department of Educa-tion said this year there are 14 new schools being started. In addition to the Tower school, Alex-ander has been in-volved in programs in Woodbury and Roch-ester, and prior to his increased involvement with innovative education through charter schools he worked in South St. Paul in helping to rebuild alternative learning programs. Alexander said the call to ECHO was an easy one, as he said the school is in a bit of a transition right now – moving ahead with its solid foundation in the CORE Knowledge program and the second year of projects based programming. “The Vermillion school is based on projects based education, and so I am very familiar with that,” he said, adding the chance to help develop programming and rebuild the school as a whole made the chance to serve in leadership at ECHO a natural fit. In addition to Alex-ander, there are several new educators, including Dana Johnson, Audrey Sundburg, Josh Junker, Jennifer Keely and Josh Beebout. A new math program is going to allow for students to do more of their learning online, added Alexander. “I’m very happy to be here in Echo,” said Alexander, adding he is very excited for the start of the new year. Learn more about the ECHO Charter School online at www.echo. charter.k12.mn.us.

        calendar