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RHS assistant principal Kim Budde earns national recognition

Rosemount High School assistant principal Kimberly Budde was recognized last week in Washington, D.C. as the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ Assistant Principal of the Year for Minnesota.

Kim Budde’s trip to Washington, D.C. last week wasn’t all about visiting monuments. She was also there to be recognized as one of the nation’s best assistant principals.

Budde, assistant principal at Rosemount High School, was in Washington last week as the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ Assistant Principal of the Year for Minnesota. She received formal recognition there, but she also spent a day talking with administrators from around the country and met with senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to talk about education policy.

It was a whirlwind trip Budde called a “once in a lifetime” experience.

The journey to get to that experience started last spring when RHS principal John Wollersheim nominated Budde for a district-level award. Once she was selected, she had to fill out applications, ask people to write letters of recommendation and generally make the case for why she deserved to advance to higher levels of recognition.

“It’s a lot of essays about how you view leadership, what your role is in the school, how you connect with the community,” Budde said. “It really forced me to sit down and reflect on the reality of my philosophy matching up with my daily practice.”

Wollersheim said he singled Budde out this year in part due to her work on a pair of programs meant to prepare students for life after high school. AVID and Inver Prep both identify students who might not otherwise put much thought into preparing themselves for college and pushes them to be ready for college.

“She’s worked hard to help a whole new group of students get college ready,” Wollersheim said. “That’s just one reason, but that’s a big reason I thought she was worthy of being nominated.”

Budde also oversees the arts programs at FHS, and the school has had a remarkable run of success in that area. The RHS marching band is a perennial state champion and in January of 2014 performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The dance program is “super successful,” Wollersheim said, and the choir program is one of the biggest in the state. OnStage, the school’s annual musical variety show, sold out all of this year’s performances before tickets could go on sale to the general public.

“She’s got a great, outgoing, can-do attitude,” Wollersheim said. “She has a good outgoing personality that always is positive. That wears off in a positive way in our school.”

Budde appreciated the recognition and especially the opportunity to talk shop with administrators from around the country. She saw plenty of areas where RHS was ahead of other schools, and others where the school could try some new things.

But recognition is not the reason she does what she does. She gets her greatest pleasure working behind the scenes to help other people be successful.

“It was almost surreal, because we had a celebrity status for a few days. That’s not really the role or the lifestyle of the assistant principal,” Budde said. “It was an amazing experience. I can’t help but thank my community for their support of Rosemount High School and the work we do on a daily basis.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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