Donita Stepan

From the Superintendent's Desk

  • To our Prowler Community:


    It’s July 1st… and I finally get to say “Hello” to YOU and our Prowler Community!  It is with great pride and gratitude that I have been selected as your next Superintendent of Schools. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know our students, our staff and our community.  There is so much to talk to you about, already, but I thought a good first step would be to introduce myself. 


    My name is Donita Stepan. I grew up and went to school in Hastings, MN, where I spent most of my free time playing sports.  I went on to college at St. Cloud State University and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education,  several different K-12 reading licensures, a middle school English Endorsement, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  It wasn’t long after when I returned to St. Mary’s University and earned my K-12 Principal license and my Superintendent's license.  My most recent educational experience came from Malone Intermediate School as their Intermediate School Principal and before that, Byron Public Schools, as their Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.  I enjoyed every single day as I worked on Personalizing Instruction for all students. I have worked in education for over 27 years and, over this time frame, have served all students, Grades K-12, in some capacity, either as a principal, director, learner, teacher or coach.  I am proud to be an educator and so grateful that I get to spend every day of my adult life with kids!


    I have one 26 year old son, Zach.  He graduated high school from Shattuck St. Mary’s School, in Faribault, MN; he was drafted by the Nashville Predators, and earned a scholarship to play college hockey.  After several college visits, Mankato State University was the chosen school where he played four years.  Unfortunately after only a few games into his pro career, he had to cut his dream short due to medical issues.  He is now the head coach of a NA3HL hockey team called the New Ulm Steel and will continue with college coaching aspirations.  He continues to inspire me everyday with the person he is, and the man he has become.  I couldn’t be more proud of him!



    As you get to know me, you’ll find that Integrity is a fundamental quality that I value.  As your next Superintendent, I promise to:

    • Put our students first!  I promise to always do what’s best for the students in TRF.
    • Treat our students and staff with respect, honor, purpose and appreciate their uniqueness.
    • Support a rigorous, relevant and personalized curriculum in order for our students to grow as learners.
    • Help our students and staff understand how to live the ultimate life by being positive, grateful, kind, accountable and to learn the importance of serving others.
    • Partner with our families, our teachers, our students and our community.  It takes a village!
    • Continue to reflect on our practices and always work hard to meet your high expectations.


    It is important to me that everyone who steps through our doors-staff, students, families and community members - are excited to be here! This attitude enables us to meet the challenges of academic excellence in a positive, fun and nurturing environment.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your Thief River Falls community, and please, if you see me, stop and introduce yourself.  I look forward to making a connection with you. 


    If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


    Warmest Regards,

    Donita Stepan

    Superintendent of Schools - TRF #564