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South View AP named to national leadership network

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.

South View Middle School Assistant Principal Tami Jo Cook, Ed.D., has been named to the Special Olympics’ National Education Leaders Network (NELN). She is among the nearly two dozen national leaders in special education, research, social equity, education leadership and Special Olympics included in the newest NELN cohort.

Cook’s leadership and support for unified programming was instrumental in South View being the first middle school in Minnesota to earn Unified Champion School status by Special Olympics in 2015. Champion status requires a commitment to inclusion and leadership opportunities, unified sports, and whole school engagement. In 2019, Special Olympics Minnesota named South View the Unified Champion School of the Year.

This new role with Special Olympics has a term of three years and was the result of a comprehensive nomination and selection process. The NELN has been in existence since 2009 when Unified Champion Schools was first implemented, and it was restructured in 2021 with the new cohort specifically identified to serve as a think tank. Cook has been assistant principal at South View for two years, and was the dean for 15 years. She has been a member of the Edina Public Schools staff for 22 years.