A new era at Perpich Center for Arts Education
Jan 30, 2018
Curt Tryggestad, Executive Director
A new era at Perpich Center for Arts Education

Curt Tryggestad, former superintendent of Eden Prairie Schools, took over in August as executive director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Tryggestad ran the Eden Prairie system from 2012-2017. Before that, he was superintendent of Little Falls Community Schools in central Minnesota and Esko Public Schools in northeastern Minnesota. He began his career as an instrumental music teacher. The Minnesota Association of School Administrators named him the 2017 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year.

The Perpich Center, which runs arts outreach programs as well as an arts high school in Golden Valley, narrowly survived a legislative inquiry in 2017. The center had been in turmoil since before former director Sue Mackert retired in January. Shortly after Mackert's retirement, the state legislative auditor released a critical report on the center, noting diminished outreach to school districts and low enrollment and test scores at the center's Golden Valley high school.

With a new executive director, Perpich leaders hope the agency will be rejuvenated. “The board members have been working nonstop, and the Legislature and the governor’s office are supporting our work,” Perpich Board Chairman Benjamin Vander Kooi said in a statement. “Next is working with the new [executive director] to create a strategic plan that will carry us forward to even greater success.”