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640 Humboldt Avenue
St. Paul


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Principal David Gundale

Since 2010, David Gundale has been a leader at Open World Learning (OWL) Community, previously as the school’s program coordinator and assistant principal. He has served as the school’s principal since 2014.

Gundale has worked toward making OWL a top EL Education school. His top priorities include adding more emphasis on the expeditionary model, as well as a large focus on literacy, writing, math and high-quality student work.

“I am inspired daily by the immense effort and dedication of our staff and students and I’m grateful to continue the work that we have begun together as a community,” he said.

Explaining the EL Education model to people outside the OWL school community is a constant challenge, Gundale says. For example, many think the EL Education model is about outdoor adventure trips, he explains.

Education: He attended Gustavus Adolphus College, studying English Literature and Political Science. He then attended Bemidji State University, where he studied Technology Education and earned a teaching license. He received a Masters of Education from Hamline University, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate.

Teaching: He worked as a student teacher at Humboldt High School. His first teaching job was at Washington Technology Magnet School. He then joined the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Academy at Johnson High School. He completed his administrative internship at Open World Learning School, where he became a program coordinator, assistant principal and now principal.

Honors: He received a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2008, following his work with SPPS and the Science Museum of Minnesota on the ACE academy and the IDEA Cooperative (Invention, Design, Engineering, and Art), which was a program that supported the development of students underrepresented in STEAM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).

Although EL Education emerged out of Outward Bound in the early 1980s, it is much more focused on individual character and community development through academics across school subjects and a focus on students to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

“I am most excited to be able to spend more time working closely with our teaching staff around expedition planning, instructional protocols and examining student work,” Gundale said.

In 2014, OWL moved to its new home this fall in the former Humboldt Middle School building on the West Side of Saint Paul. This site was designed with OWL's EL Education's model in mind.

“The physical environment has enhanced our program and brings a richness to our culture,” Gundale said. “It has been exciting to see how OWL students and staff have made this space come alive.”

Gundale plans to encourage a collaborative learning environment for staff and students − a place where taking risks and failing are a part of finding successes.

When not at OWL, Gundale finds pleasure and relaxation through outdoor activities such as running and hiking as well as remodeling old homes (his own, primarily).

Posted 08/06/14

Ms. Ma'lene Walker


My name is Ma’lene Walker and I’m excited to join the Open World Learning Community.  My career in education spans more than 20 years with experience as an Elementary and Middle School Teacher, PBIS Intervention Specialist, Behavior Intervention Specialist, EDL Site Leader, Restorative Practices Program Coordinator, and Assistant Principal. 

I am proud to be a product of Saint Paul Public Schools, attending St. Anthony Park Elementary, Highland Park Jr. High, and graduating from St. Paul Central High School.   I am a mother of 3 children, who all attended school in the Saint Paul Public School District.  When I am away from school I enjoy fishing, kayaking, participating in soul line dancing, and spending quality time with my family.  I am a self-proclaimed “foodie” as I love to indulge in a savory dish. 

I am excited to continue building positive relationships with students, families, and the OWL community.