Introduction from Walter Schleisman
Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:50 PM


June 17th, 2013

Dear Lake Harriet Community School Staff and Families,

I am incredibly honored to accept the position of Principal at Lake Harriet Upper School and look forward to spending many years developing relationships with all of the staff, families, and community members of the school.  While we missed the chance to meet prior to the end of the school year, I thought I might give you a brief introduction of myself as well as an open invitation to contact me directly with questions (contact information below).

I live in Minneapolis with my wife Elizabeth, an author and journalist, and three children.  I grew up in Long Lake, Minnesota and went to Orono schools. I attended Beloit College, where I double majored in music and economics & management.  While that might seem like an odd coupling, it fit my personality because I have always been interested in arts, sciences, and social studies. 

After college, I pursued a career in music while working as an operations manager—a job that has helped prepare me for the logistical and managerial requirements of a school administrator.  Many late night shows convinced me that life as a wandering musician was not for me.  My mother has spent her entire career in education—she’s an education professor at the University of Minnesota—so becoming a music educator was a natural progression.

I have never looked back. Working with students—especially middle years kids—is always interesting and rewarding. I also love collaborating with teachers and know that at Lake Harriet Upper School I will have the pleasure of doing so with many of the state’s finest educators.

My first job in education was in Salzburg, Austria at the American International School.  I returned to Minnesota in 2001 to teach music at Crosswinds Arts and Science Magnet school, an IB Middle Years Program located in Woodbury.  Later, I earned my master’s degree and administrative licensure at the University of Minnesota.

I started with Minneapolis Public Schools three years ago as the Fine Arts Coordinator at Ramsey International Fine Arts Center.  I was chosen to attend the MPS Principal’s Academy and after one year I became the Assistant Principal focusing on grades 5-8 at Ramsey.  Last year our entire program moved to the Folwell building.  I worked closely with MPS administrative staff, as well as teachers and building staff, to make the move to Folwell as smooth as possible. This collaboration has paid off for our students and families.

I am a collaborative leader and believe that my relationship with students, teachers, and parents is critical to being a strong principal.  As we start the 2013-2014 school year together, I will be spending a great deal of my time listening to input from students, teachers and parents about their Lake Harriet experience.

In the very near future I will set-up several times where I will be available at neighborhood locations to meet with parents and staff.  Until then, please feel free to email or call me with any questions.  Administrators will be in professional development workshops most of this week, but please leave me a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  My work number is 612-668-4556 and my email address is:

To say this opportunity is an honor is an understatement. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you to make a great school an even more dynamic environment for young people to learn more about themselves and the world they will one day lead.


Walter Schleisman


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