Saying Farewell to Moreland’s Longtime Principal: Mark Quinn

Mark Quinn, who has been the principal at Moreland Arts & Health Sciences Magnet School for eight years and has been an educator for more than three decades, will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. 

We sat down with Mark and asked him what he’s enjoyed most about Moreland, why he loves the school community, and what his plans for retirement are.  

How long have you been in education?
For 35 years. I have been everything from a substitute teacher, a teacher in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Spanish Immersion teacher in Robbinsdale, and a principal in Minneapolis Public Schools. And, of course, I have spent my time in the wonderful Moreland school community for the last eight years.

What have been your favorite moments at Moreland? 
All of my favorite moments include interacting with the kids and school community and working with the wonderful staff at Moreland.

I have enjoyed helping students find their spark—something they are interested in or the thing that gets them excited about school and learning. One way we’ve done that is by having fourth graders serve as the assistant principal. Each week, a new fourth grader serves as the assistant principal to help in the office, read the morning announcements, and take on a leadership role. We choose the kids we know are up for it, but we also try to pick the kids who might need a boost in confidence. By the end of the week, you can see the growth in so many of them—more confidence in themselves and more determination to go back to the classrooms and work hard. 

Many of my favorite moments also include connecting with Spanish-speaking students and their families in their native language. Students' brains are working so hard all day, and it’s nice to know they can come, relax, and converse with me in Spanish. 

And, of course, the staff. The staff is incredible at Moreland. They are amazing people inside and outside the classroom and work collaboratively. 

What are you most proud of? 
Moreland was already a great school when I joined eight years ago. But by making the school more community-focused, I believe it just made it even better. I’m proud of staying true to the magnet theme. I’m also proud of our cross-grade level collaborations for students and teachers and for providing teachers the opportunity to observe their peers. 

I have worked hard to honor and help our teachers. As a principal, I think it’s important to never forget what it’s like to be a classroom teacher. Our teachers and staff are doing incredibly hard work. My job is to take away any of the chaos that might happen on any given day to give teachers the space and time to do what they do best—teach. 

What are your retirement plans?
To sleep past 4:30 in the morning. Travel with my wife, who retired last year, and run more during the day. To be able to get stuff done at home and enjoy our house.

Anything else you want families to know? 
Every job I’ve taken keeps getting further away from my house. And I always say that if you don’t like your job, a short distance can seem like a long way. It’s never felt a long way here at Moreland.

Moreland is an incredible school community that will continue to do great things. I see all our students here doing great things in the future, with unlimited possibilities.