Engstrom Leaving Minnehaha for South Korea

Post a Comment » Written on November 5th, 2008     
Filed under: News
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (November 5, 2008) – John Engstrom, president of Minnehaha Academy, has announced his resignation effective the end of June 2009 to head a Christian school serving international students in Seoul, South Korea.

Engstrom has been at Minnehaha for 15 years. The private school serves 1,200 students in preschool through 12th grades and is owned and operated by the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Seoul Foreign School also serves preschool through 12th grade students. Fifty nationalities are represented among the 1,500 students. Many of the students’ parents are diplomats or are involved in international business.

“It was one of the first international baccalaureate programs in the world,” says Engstrom, who previously served at schools in Germany, India, and Switzerland. He decided to pursue a new position because he was seeking new challenges, but had not initially planned to go overseas until the opportunity arose in South Korea.

Over the last eight years, Engstrom has overseen more than $25 million in new construction and renovation – the largest in the school’s history. The work included the addition of a 350-seat chapel, offices and classrooms.

Engstrom says the biggest changes in teaching at the school have included the increased role of technology. He adds, “We’re much more globally focused.”

That focus and the use of technology are intertwined in a number of ways. For example, students in the language classes interact with their peers in other countries.

In recent years, freshmen through junior students have been required to spend a week in June immersed in a different culture. That may mean traveling overseas, but students also can spend the week in other contexts such as the inner city or with people who have disabilities.

“It’s about learning from someone else’s story,” Engstrom says.

Engstrom says he has appreciated his 15 years at the school  “The parents are very committed to helping the students achieve. The faculty and staff are like family. They’re committed to serving in a Christian environment.”

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