Maeda, Gulden begin new roles
at Lower and Middle School campusesby Cristina Anfang Talon staff writer
This is the first time these three branches have had the same principals. Minnehaha President, Donna Harris says, “we are one school”, and that the restructuring “will enhance and strengthen our sense of community.”
Harris also believes that Maeda and Gulden are both the right people for the job. “They are strong Christians and believe in our mission for ‘high quality academics integrating Christian faith and learning’,” says Harris. She also adds that they have both “expressed their love for children; that children come first and are passionate about building strong educational programs.”
Maeda worked in the St. Paul Public schools for the past 22 years. He taught band, orchestra and music class at elementary and secondary levels. Before coming to Minnehaha, Maeda was the principal at Ramsey Junior High School in St. Paul.
Maeda says he is, “thankful I am able to work in an openly Christian atmosphere where everyone supports and encourages one another.”
Outside of school, Maeda enjoys spending time with his wife, Dana, who teaches and coaches small chamber ensembles at St. Olaf College, and their three kids, twins Caleb and Micah, who are in fourth grade, and second-grader Laura, all are attending Minnehaha this year. He enjoys photography, traveling and playing with electronics. He likes playing with his iPhone and PSP, and exploring what his computer can do through software.
“I have become somewhat of a tech support person for my family and friends,” Maeda adds.
Family is also very important to him. During the summer he coaches his sons’ baseball team, and enjoys family movie nights. They enjoy a wide variety of movies from “Pixar to Star Wars”, but some of their recent favorites include Never a Dull Moment, Toy Story 2, and The Princess Bride.
“What makes the evening special, though, is the time we have together, not necessarily the specific movie,” says Maeda.
Maeda and Gulden split their time between Bloomington and South Campus, spending one or two days at Bloomington and the rest of the week at South.
Vice Principal Janet Gulden came to Minnehaha after working the last 6 years in public schools, as a Teacher Administrator, creating new programs including magnet programs and theme base programs. At Minnehaha she has been working on scheduling and discipline. Long term, she thinks she’ll be working on elementary curriculum, which is one of her areas of expertise. It’s clear to both Gulden and Maeda that Minnehaha is a great place, but they believe that in education we need to be looking at, “what we can improve on, and how we can be making things even better for kids,” says Gulden.
Outside of work, Gulden and her husband love going to movies. They could be found watching small independent or foreign films. Gulden also likes to cook and bake but “even though I like to cook, I like to eat out at restaurants, trying new restaurants and new foods,” says Gulden.
Maeda believes that high school years are more important than ever with the changing demands of the global economy. Students need to be, “serious about their studies and garnering the skills needed to be competitive with students world-wide,” says Maeda. But, that being said, he adds, high school is also an important time for students to have fun too.
Gulden is excited to visit the high school also. She is looking forward to seeing the concerts and other productions at the high school.