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After Just Days On The Job, New Washburn HS Principal Dismissed

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just weeks before the start of the school year, there is another shake-up in leadership at Minneapolis Wasburn High School.

Patrick Exner has been dismissed as principal after less than a week on the job after being accused of altering test scores for three students at his previous school, Ubah Medical Academy.

Exner had been the assistant director at the public charter school based in Hopkins.

A letter and voicemail went out yesterday to Washburn families. Superintendent Bernadeia H. Johnson called the issues with Exner an additional distraction that can’t continue.

Johnson’s letter said the best way to move forward is with new leadership, a move that some Washburn parents and students support.

“Washburn is not a bad school,” sophomore Skylar Tupper said. “I enjoy going there. The teachers are great and it’s kind of like a family.”

Parent Emily Gannon shares the same sentiment.

“The kids are great and it’s building up, and it’s still in that growing pains (stage),” Gannon said. “I wish that principal would have worked out.”

Washburn had already gotten its fair share of attention when a group of students hanged a dark-skinned doll on the stairwell in January.

“It’s kind of hard having that because that’s distracting and you can’t focus on anything,” junior Hantez Christianson said.

There was also a student walkout and the reassignment of the former principal.

The superintendent’s statement said the district had a thorough hiring process for this position. Assistant Principal Linda Conley will serve in the interim.

A community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Washburn Auditorium to address any questions.

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