Austin Public Schools welcomes Ellis assistant principal and IJ Holton dean of students

Published 6:00 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

Austin Public Schools has announced the hiring of Joni Irvin as the new assistant principal at Ellis Middle School.

Irvin has worked at Austin Public Schools since 2004, predominantly in Special Education. During her time in the classroom, she has worked with students at all levels of their educational journey, from kindergarten through age 21.

“I am both humbled and thrilled to accept the position of Ellis Middle School assistant principal,” Irvin said. “I look forward to establishing relationships with students, staff and our community in my new role.”

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According to Ellis Middle School Principal Dewey Schara, Irvin is a strong addition to the school.

“Joni brings a long-term reputation for building strong and lasting relationships with students, staff, and families,” Schara said. “Her background in special education as well as her work in the Principal’s Academy will be welcome additions to our administrative team. Ms. Irvin brings positivity to every environment she enters. She is an incredible problem-solver who builds consensus to move work forward. We are very excited to have her join our team.”

Irvin will be taking over for Karen Dunbar who will be moving into the newly created role of BARR Coordinator.

APS has also announced the hiring of David Brown as the new dean of students at IJ Holton Intermediate School.

“I am honored to be the new Dean of Students at IJ Holton,” Brown said. “As one of the original staff members from when Holton was built, this is my home, and I am proud to be a part of a building that proudly and excitedly welcomes and serves every 5th and 6th grade student in the Austin Public Schools. Being the Dean of Students gives me a chance to work with every student and staff member in our building, and I can think of nothing more exciting. I cannot wait to get started!”

Brown holds a MS in Educational Leadership from Southwest State University and completed his Educational Administration licensure through Minnesota State University – Mankato. He has been a part of Austin Public Schools since 1994 as a classroom teacher and behavior coach and has worked extensively with students at the Elementary and Middle School levels.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Dave Brown’s experience join our administrative team,” Schara said. “Mr. Brown is a former teacher of the year who understands how quality instruction positively impacts student behavior.  He is an expert in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and has extensive experience in organizing safe and exciting student events. He will be an asset to our administrative team.”