By Christiane Cordero

HOPKINS, Minn. (WCCO) — Hopkins Public Schools started classes on Aug. 31, and two weeks prior was the first day of work for four of the district’s nine principals.

WCCO interviewed Julius Eromosele, the new principal at Hopkins North Junior High School, and Crystal Ballard, the new principal at Hopkins High. They both previously worked together as assistant principals at Osseo Senior High school. Eromosele also has experience at Park Center, and Ballard worked in the Minneapolis school district.

Eromosele graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and African-American studies before getting his Master’s in education at Wisconsin-River Falls. On WCCO This Morning, he shared how he’s stayed focus on his students and families as he starts a new job amid the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. Through the course of his career, he has worked to create equity within the classroom.

Ballard shares a similar vision for Hopkins High School students. Born and raised in Detroit, she always felt representation among her teachers leaders. She then went to Grambling State University, a historically Black university in northern Louisiana. It wasn’t until she arrived in Minnesota to pursue her Master’s in deaf education at the University of Minnesota that she experienced a lack of diversity among leaders. She stayed to help change that.

Hopkins Schools started the year using the distance-learning model. They plan to transition to a hybrid model in phases.

Christiane Cordero