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James Gagner

Principal & Executive Director

I am honored to be part of the Phoenix Academy Family. Each year, I look forward to meeting our students and their families. The success of your child depends on us working together, and it is a responsibility I take seriously. As the principal of Phoenix Academy, I embrace the opportunity to partner with you to provide our students with challenging, engaging and memorable school experience. As I enter my 29th year in education, I am fortunate to have had a variety of opportunities to prepare me: After seventeen years of teaching elementary grades, my career path led me into administration. I have spent time as a principal, executive director, and program coordinator. My Master’s Degree is in School Leadership through the University of Sioux Falls, with my Bachelors's Degree in elementary education from Southwest Minnesota State University.

I recently retired from the Air National Guard after 30 years of service. I enjoy time as a sports official while refereeing to basketball and football. On a more personal note, I am the father of two beautiful daughters. Tiffany, who is married to my son-in-law Eric, lives in California. My daughter Ariel was silently born on the 17th of September, 2012 and is my little angel. I love both of my daughters like crazy.

I look forward to building strong relationships with parents, students, and community partners. I am committed to ensuring that every Phoenix Academy student is safe, loved and cared for when they reside in school here. Please know that my door is always open. Feel free to stop in, call, or email me to discuss any concerns, suggestions or ideas to help make this year the best year yet! I feel truly blessed to be part of such a special school community.

James Gagner
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