Hopkins administrative team aims to provide students with love of learning
September 5, 2017
The administrative team at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School wants to provide students with an environment that helps them love learning.
“My responsibilities as principal include teaming with families and staff to ensure all students are being provided a safe learning environment in which all students are able to develop their maximum potential,” said Lynnelle Dirksen, the new principal of Hopkins Elementary. “I’m also responsible for working with teachers and staff to ensure the school provides students with 21st century skills to prepare them for middle school and a future of lifelong learning.”
Dirksen was named principal at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School in July. She has been assistant principal at Robert Asp Elementary since 2014. Prior to that she was dean of students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Willmar, Minn. Dirksen also has experience as a kindergarten, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher.
“I am honored to have been selected to join the Hopkins community and feel fortunate to be part of this school community to be able to work with students, families and staff at Hopkins,” Dirksen said.
Dirksen joins Diana Johnson, assistant principal at Hopkins, in leading the school. Johnson has been assistant principal for the last four years. Prior to that she was a Title I teacher for 17 years in north Moorhead. She began working for Moorhead Area Public Schools in 1991 as a Title I paraprofessional.
“My goals are simple,” Johnson said. “I want to support teachers, students and families by providing a safe, positive environment where the students can grow as learners and learn to love learning. My children had amazing opportunities to learn and grow in Moorhead. I want to pass the same opportunity on to the students at Ellen Hopkins.”
Johnson’s main responsibility is to work collaboratively with Dirksen to improve student learning.
“I work hard at developing relationships and want students to feel at home in our school,” Johnson said. “I strive to know all of the students — their names, their stories, their strengths and their weaknesses. I also work closely with teachers to empower them to create lessons to promote student growth.”
Dirksen welcomed staff back to the school in late August and is excited to meet the students. Over the summer, work focused on preparing for staff and students to return to the remodeled school. For the coming year, Dirksen’s goals are “to listen, learn and grow our Hopkins PRIDE within students and staff.”
Dirksen appreciates the district’s focus on planning and preparing students for their future with 21st century skills.
“I bring a belief that the students are at the center of all school-related decisions,” Dirksen said. “I am excited to work with the Hopkins staff as we continue to move Hopkins students toward a strong future.”
Johnson also is excited for what the new school year brings.
“I have a huge passion for literacy, and I am looking forward to listening to children read and become excited about stories,” Johnson said. “I also love to watch teachers teach. I am in awe over their passion, creativity, and excitement they bring to the classroom every day.”
Photo caption: Lynnelle Dirksen, principal at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School, works with Diana Johnson, Hopkins assistant principal, during an administrative meeting.