Mr. Magnuson's Bio
Hiking in the BWCA
With my daughter, Maisie, hiking on the Gunflint Trail (spring 2015)

My name is Daniel Magnuson M.A., SLD.  I have worked in the CLASS Program at Anthony Middle School since 2003.  I received my B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1996 upon completing my student teaching in New Zealand.  I chose to student teach in New Zealand because much of what we were studying at the university in terms of literacy development was based on the work the New Zealanders have been doing since the 1970s.

I accepted my first teaching position while in New Zealand and taught 2nd grade there for two years.  My time there had a profound impact on my beliefs about literacy and language development.  Much of what I do today as an educator was shaped by my time working in that country, from visiting other schools and other teachers, and from working closely with the Reading Recovery specialists (a reading intervention program developed in that country and used throughout the world).

It was not all work however.  During my time in New Zealand I was able to travel to other countries (Japan, Rarotonga - Cook Islands, and Fiji), joined a hiking club that took weekend trips up into the mountains, became a member of a theater company and performed in some musicals, became active in learning about the Maori culture (see the movie Whale Rider), and even did a 300 ft bungy-jump into the Kawara River.  New Zealand was a country full of adventures or as they would say, "heaps of fun times....mate".

I returned to Minneapolis in 1999 and accepted a third grade teaching position at Longfellow Elementary school.  

 

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In 2002, I started my graduate program at the University of St. Thomas in order to obtain my Master's degree in special education with an emphasis on Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD).  I then worked in the CLASS program for one year when it was located at Four Winds - Native American Magnet School.  At the end of that year (2003) they moved the entire CLASS program (intact - students and teachers) to Anthony Middle School.

In 2014, the district sent me on a gardening workshop where I was inspired to bring back gardening at Anthony.  I heard about the concept of pizza gardens and the potential for natural science connections with students through operating, maintaining, and harvesting a school garden.  I started an education / business partnership with Pizzeria Lola (a local restaurant just blocks from the school and considered one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities) who contributed $3000 to help us establish our pizza garden.  For the first year, all our yield went to "Lola" and in return they would feature specials using our produce to further support our school.  Now we have transitioned to not only serving our produce at the restaurant but also on the salad bar in our school cafeteria.  The MPS Nutrition Center pays us $1.00 per pound we contribute to our school....money that goes right back to our gardening fund.

Anthony is a great school with hardworking students, supportive families, and staff that seek to provide a rigorous curriculum in a positive, student centered learning environment.  I hope to spend the rest of my years as an educator right here.

My Family
Photos of New Zealand - Slideshow