Albert Lea High’s principal to retire

Leader. Decision-maker. Counselor. Teacher. Mentor. Trainer. Discipline-giver. Manager.

Those are just some of the titles that make up the job of principal, and Albert Lea High School Principal Al Root says he’s going to miss it. He said it just feels like the right time and so he is retiring at the end of August after 23 years as the principal at ALHS.

Root, 59, worked 32 years as an administrator — 26 with Albert Lea as both an assistant principal and principal. Before that it was three years at two different schools as an administrator.

He taught at the Escuela Americana in Pachuca, Mexico. Then he came back to Minnesota and got his master’s and specialist degree in administration. And now after all these years he’s finally ready to pass the responsibility onto someone else.

“There’s been many memorable experiences, both good and bad,” Root said. “I won’t miss the stress; I will miss the kids and the outstanding teachers I’ve worked with.”

Over the years Root has seen many changes at ALHS, including a new building in 2000. He said he learned a lot about the process of building a new school. One of his proudest achievements is being involved in offering college classes in the schools.

“A number of students were able to complete a year’s worth of college while still in high school,” Root said.

Other changes include going from a high school with only 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grades to one that also includes ninth- and then eighth-grades. Class sizes have also steadily dropped.

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