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Cloquet alumnus selected as Cloquet Senior High principal

Assistant Principal Steve Battaglia will assume the reins at Cloquet Senior High when current principal Warren Peterson retires at the end of June.

At a special meeting Monday evening, May 7, the Cloquet School Board unanimously approved Battaglia as the next principal. According to the agenda, Battaglia was the only person interviewed and the only one who applied for the position.

“The school board has been very impressed with his work in our school district and very pleased with his interview,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said in an email to district staff Tuesday morning.

A 1998 Cloquet grad, Battaglia was a teacher for 11 years and a principal — first at Cloquet Area Alternative Education Program, then as assistant at CHS — for the past four years. The UMD grad holds a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from The College of St. Scholastica and K-12 administrative certification from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Battaglia said he sees the diversity of people as the school’s strength. With special education at roughly 20 percent of the student population, 30 percent Native American, and about 50 percent free-and-reduced lunch, “our students learn to turn differences into strengths,” he said.

“We have great students and our faculty and staff are second to none. We offer 70-some college credits, have many interventions for struggling students, have mental health counselors on site every day, and have many extracurricular offerings — there’s something for everyone at CHS.”

Battaglia said he wants to continue working toward becoming a more trauma informed school to better deal with at-risk students who have had adverse childhood experiences.

Battaglia has been the boys basketball head coach since 2005 and will continue in that position as well.

“I’ve got a veteran group of assistant coaches that can keep things running smoothly if I have school business to attend to,” he said. “School is always and will continue to be my priority. I’ve been an administrator and a coach for four years already — the pros heavily outweigh the cons.”

The district is now advertising internally and externally for an assistant high school principal.