Corey Lunn has been in his new position at Collins-Maxwell Schools for one month.
“Although there have been many things since the announcement that I have been involved and engaged in, my first official day as Collins-Maxwell superintendent was July 1,” Lunn said.
Being in a superintendency isn’t new to Lunn. He spent 11 past years — four at Johnston and the rest at several schools in Minnesota — as a superintendent.
He stepped away from the superintendency job in Johnston because he missed being around kids, spending time with teachers and having more time with his family. He was in the process of looking for another job, possibly in teaching, when Collins-Maxwell Schools posted a job that interested him. The superintendent stepped down unexpectedly, and the district needed someone with the knowledge to step in at least as a principal.
Lunn fit the bill. He came in as the Collins-Maxwell high school and middle school principal, and Ottie Maxey (whose main superintendent’s job is at Ballard) agreed to stay on one additional year as the school’s superintendent, continuing a shared arrangement a little longer than he anticipated.
For Lunn, it was a great year and he enjoyed the small school environment.
“I really enjoyed my role last year as high school and middle school principal,” he said. “Working more directly with students, staff and families was a great connection back to why I entered the field of education.”
After serving many years as a superintendent, it had been a while since Lunn was a school principal, he noted. But just like riding a bike, “I was surprised how quickly a lot of things came back.”
Lunn was, he admitted, a bit surprised about how different students’ lives have become.
“Compared to when I grew up or was last principal, there are many more stresses and pressures. Some of these are due to social media, changes in family structure and things currently occurring in society.”
Knowing this, he saw an opportunity for building support networks and positive relationships with students, as well the importance of teaching not just the basic facts, but also employability skills. Because of that, Collins-Maxwell middle and high schools will implement a new schedule this year that will allow for more flexibility in how the district uses time. “It will create more opportunities for project-based learning and relationship-building. There will also be an emphasis on more consistency around grading practices and teaching employability skills,” he said.
Overall, Lunn said he felt good about the work that was happening at Collins-Maxwell Schools when he arrived and through his first year. “Together, I feel that we made some great improvements, with many more in store for this next school year. The Collins-Maxwell School District and communities that we serve are on a positive upswing. I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited to continue in the role of superintendent and high school/middle school principal.”
As for having Maxey working with the district last year, Lunn said it was very enjoyable having a colleague available to ask questions, bounce ideas off of and learn how things operate in the school district. It was very different from other transitions, he noted, where you get thrown in and have to figure out most things on your own.
“It has definitely helped so far and has allowed for a smooth start to the next school year. I cannot thank Superintendent Maxey enough for the time he gave the Collins-Maxwell School District and the work he did to get us moving in this positive direction. I am also grateful to the many staff members who stepped up to contribute and help as well,” Lunn said.
Lunn’s goals for the district are clear.
“I want to keep this positive momentum moving forward in the Collins-Maxwell Schools,” he said. “This is a great school district that cares about students. The size allows for the development of many opportunities, individual help and support, and strong relationships with others. With a new superintendent in place, it is also a great time to have a community conversation about the future of our schools. We offered surveys in the early spring to our students, families and community members and will be following up this school year on what was shared and learned.”