DR. EMILY LILJA PALMER, Principal
Welcome to Washburn High School, home of the Millers!
I am grateful for the opportunity to lead such a wonderful school. Washburn is a really caring community, where everyone can find their place. Our value on Academics, Arts & Athletics means we understand that a well-rounded student has many facets to their life & school experience.
This is my second principalship, and the 2023-24 school year will be my 31st year in education. I started teaching and coaching at South HS in 1993. I also taught at Anthony MS and Patrick Henry HS. After 14 years of teaching, I moved into administration, first as Asst. Principal at Richfield MS, then back in MPS as Principal at Sanford MS, and now Principal at Washburn. I enjoy administration because, like teaching, it's never boring! There is a new challenge every day.
My degrees are from the University of Minnesota: BA in English from the College of Liberal Arts, 1992; MEd in Secondary Curriculum & Instruction from the College of Education, 1996; and PhD in Educational Leadership from the Graduate School, 2013. Both my parents attended the UMN as well (it's where they met!) so I am truly a life-long Gopher.
I am a Minneapolis resident, and a proud product of the Minneapolis schools, K-12. I have two daughters, one of whom is a 1st grade teacher in St Paul, and the other is a student at the UMN Twin Cities. Raising a teacher is absolutely one of my proudest life accomplishments, and having a 4th-generation Gopher is pretty great too.
My purpose in education is to empower students to create their best future. This is posted on the wall in my office, along with our Washburn vision: Washburn is a school of excellence for students of all backgrounds!
ARSLAN AZIZ, Assistant Principal
It is with enthusiasm that I joined the staff and community of Washburn in 2020 what was my 25th year in education. I previously worked for nineteen years as a classroom teacher in the sciences teaching grades 7-12 in Pasadena, CA, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Center before moving into positions as an instructional coach and administrator.
My family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when I was a child and I was raised in the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York (in that order). During my teen years I wanted to learn more about other areas of the country and chose to come to the Twin Cities for college at Macalester. It was one of the best decisions I could have made.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, a Master’s degree in Environmental Education, a Science Teaching License and a Principal’s License.
I have appreciated my varied experiences and feel fortunate to work in a profession that allows me to witness the development and growth of people. I love open spaces and have a particular fondness for Death Valley, California.
MARK STAUDUHAR, Assistant Principal
My name is Mark Stauduhar and I am beyond thrilled to serve the Washburn community in my role as an Assistant Principal!
I am originally from Minneapolis, but was raised mostly in Duluth, Minnesota. The 2023-24 School Year marks my 18th year with the Minneapolis Public Schools, where I have worked at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels, including teaching at Edison HS and Patrick Henry HS.
I graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2006, where I majored in Social Studies and Minored in Education. I also earned my K - 12 Literacy licensure from Hamline. For my graduate work, I attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where I received my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
A have a wife and two daughters; we spend as much time as possible playing outdoors and enjoying each other’s company as we can. In my spare time I enjoy reading, pursuing various athletic endeavors, and listening to music.
I am proud to be a part of the legacy of excellence that exists at Washburn High School, and look forward to assisting the students, families, and staff within our community in any way that I can.
MICHELLE TERPENING, Assistant Principal
I am a career Miller. I began at Washburn in 2005 as a school counselor and have been here ever since. I served as the Administrative TOSA/Intern for three years and am now happy to serve as an Assistant Principal.
I was raised in upstate New York and relocated to Minnesota in 2000 for college at St. Cloud State University. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English (2003) and a master’s degree in Counseling Education & Educational Psychology (2005). I completed K-12 Administrative Licensure at the U of M-Twin Cities in the spring of 2016.
The best part of my job is encouraging students to believe in themselves and become productive members of their community. I enjoy all of the families and strong relationships I am able to build in this role. I hope all of the people I come in contact with feel supported and feel that they have made a positive connection with another member of the Washburn community.
I enjoy mountain biking and reside in Bloomington with my husband, son and two dogs.