After over 40 years in the field of education, Laurie Krause, Riverway’s Director and Founder, has decided to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Laurie’s vision for educational reform will continue on, having left lasting footprints on Riverway Learning Community, a charter school she founded and Directed for over 10 years.
In the fall of 1998, after 30 years as a teacher in traditional education, Laurie enrolled as a graduate student at Saint Mary’s University in their first learning community model master’s program, where, for the first time in her life, she felt empowered as a learner. Alongside like-minded educators and parents, she began the process of forming the charter school founded on the principals of respect, community, and empowerment. During that master’s program she read the book The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer. His words gave her the courage to stand up for what she believed about education. Laurie says, “Riverway’s evolution has been an incredible journey. A journey filled with major accomplishments and challenges, incredible growth and learning, and the rewarding experience of bringing our dream to fruition by creating a school culture that is like a family.” In the fall of 2000, through Laurie’s incredible perseverance, Riverway opened as the 64th Minnesota public charter school. Twelve years later, with the class of 2012, 50 students have graduated from Riverway. It is difficult to measure just how many more children have been touched by her incredible life’s work.
Laurie has dedicated her teaching career to educational reform and respectfully meeting the individual needs of students while empowering them to take ownership and responsibility for their education. Since 2000, Riverway’s Pre-K to 12th grade enrollment has doubled, and the difference the school has made in the lives of area children is immeasurable.
Riverway invites the community, all past and present students and families, and all who have worked alongside Laurie to bring about the success of Riverway Learning Community, to a retirement open house at Riverway in Laurie’s honor on Friday, May 25th, from 2-6 pm.