SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When Lincoln High School students return to school, they’ll have a new leader. Laura Raeder will replace Robert Grimm, who resigned. Grimm took over two years ago when longtime principal Val Fox retired. Raeder is already a familiar face in the district. The school year just ended, but it marks a new beginning for Raeder.
“I might be the only one in Sioux Falls looking forward to the first day of school,” Raeder said, laughing.
Lincoln High principal isn’t Raeder’s first job in the district. She’s been a teacher, debate coach, has worked on high school curriculum for the district, and is currently the assistant principal at Roosevelt High School.
“She has shown excellence at each one of those stops. She hasn’t been pretty good. She’s been excellent,” Brian Maher, superintendent, said.
Even after working 20 years in the district, Raeder says Lincoln means a new world.
“The first thing I want to do is meet the students, the parents, the teachers; get to know them better, so we can grow together. Figure out where we are and where we need to be,” Raeder said.
Getting there involves a few things. Raeder says it’s important for a school leader to embrace technology and diversity, as both continue to become important hallmarks of education.
“Out of diversity, we get diverse ideas and when you have diverse ideas, you just become better. You become a better teacher, you become a better student,” Raeder said.
Raeder officially takes over July 1, and will be the third principal at LHS in the last two years. Maher knows that may be a lot for students and parents to adjust to.
“You get frustration, maybe a sense of chaos that goes with that. We’ve had great continuity at LHS over time. Hopefully we’ve got the next person that will give us that continuity for a good long time into the future,” Maher said.
Classes haven’t started yet, but this new principal is already thinking about how to use her new role to help anyone from their first to their last day of school.
“That I’m supportive. Helpful. Whether it’s the teacher, the student, the parent. Trying to help them on their journey to whatever goal they want,” Raeder said.