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South Washington County Schools hires new Cottage Grove Middle School Principal

Photo of Harold Scott

South Washington County Schools is pleased to announce that Harold Scott Jr. has accepted the position of Principal at Cottage Grove Middle School (CGMS). Scott received approval at the June 7 School Board meeting and will begin his position with the District on July 2, 2018. 

Scott is a 20-year resident of the District and his daughter attended Cottage Grove Middle School. Throughout the course of his career, he has been a Middle School Social Studies Teacher, Teacher Leader, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Coach, Program Consultant for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Gifted Services.

For the past five years, Scott has served as a Principal on Special Assignment at Rochester Public Schools. In this role, he served as an Assistant Principal at John Marshall High School, supported building administrators in all 26 schools across Rochester Public Schools and worked to review district policies and protocols to ensure equity for all students.

Superintendent Keith Jacobus commented, “I am excited to welcome Harold Scott to South Washington County Schools. His experience in middle schools and equity and gifted programs at a district level make him a valuable addition to the Cottage Grove Middle School staff. I’m confident his skills will help CGMS staff as they continue their work toward personalizing learning and creating a positive climate and culture for all.”

Before working at Rochester Public Schools, Scott worked with St. Paul Public Schools for 12 years. He started as a middle school teacher. In this role, he took a student-centered approach to teaching, building respect within the classroom and using different strategies to meet the needs of all learners. While at St. Paul Public Schools, he led the Professional Learning Community (PLC) for his team, served as a member of the leadership team, student council advisor, as well as a volleyball and basketball coach. Later, he became a PBIS Coach, a role in which he created the Cougar RoaRS motto “We are respectful, responsible and safe,” adopted anti-bullying practices and communicated behavior expectations to students, staff, and families. His efforts lead to a reduction in student referrals by 75% in one year. 

He says he is looking forward to joining the Cottage Grove Middle School team and providing equitable access and opportunities for all students.

Scott said, “It is my esteemed honor to work with the students, staff, parents and the community as the next principal of CGMS. I am humbled by the opportunity to work in my home school district and am looking forward to collaborating, leading and growing with the CGMS community. Go Cougars!” 

Scott is a 2010 Fulbright Scholar Recipient and a former board member for Breakthrough Twin Cities, which prepares under-resourced students for college success and cultivates the next generation of educators.

He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor of Science in Mass/Speech Communications from St. Cloud State University.

Scott is replacing Elise Block, who is retiring from her role as Principal at Cottage Grove Middle School after working with the District for 21 years.