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Edwards and Schiller Named School Principals

Cambridge-Isanti Schools is excited to welcome two familiar leaders who have been selected to fill two elementary school principal positions being vacated by retirements. Ms. Sara Edwards will succeed Mark Ziebarth as principal at Isanti Intermediate and C-I STEAM School next year. Mr. Neil Schiller will become principal at Cambridge Primary School, following Mrs. Rhonda Malecha’s retirement at the end of this school year.

A former School For All Seasons teacher, Ms. Edwards is currently an assistant principal at Becker Elementary School. An innovative and highly dedicated teacher, Ms. Edwards started her career in 2007 as first-grade teacher at School For All Seasons (the year-round specialty program at the time) in Cambridge-Isanti Schools. In 2014, she left for one year to work in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, only to return to School For All Seasons in 2015 and later became an academic coach in 2016, a teacher leadership position she held until 2022, when she transitioned to an assistant principal role in Becker Schools. 

“Sara was an integral team leader for the School For All Seasons and was deeply involved in its transition to the C-I STEAM School in 2021,” noted Superintendent Nate Rudolph. Ms. Edwards served on leadership committees for positive behavior interventions (PBIS), the building leadership team, and Teaching & Learning Advisory Council. “It is exciting to see our teachers develop in their careers, gain leadership experience in other districts, and yearn to return home to C-I Schools. We always say, once a Bluejacket, always a Bluejacket. Sara is very prepared for the complexity of leading both Isanti Intermediate and the school-within-a-school C-I STEAM.”

Ms. Edwards is excited about returning. “It is an absolute honor to be returning to the amazing team at Isanti Intermediate School and C-I STEAM School!” she said. “IIS/C-I STEAM is filled with incredible people who support each other in order to meet the needs of the students. I am thrilled to join them in these efforts and am looking forward to making connections with the staff, students, and families in the upcoming months.”  


Mr. Schiller is a Bluejacket parent who chose to raise his family here. Currently an elementary principal in Willow River Area Schools, Mr. Schiller is actively involved in the Cambridge-Isanti community. Mr. Schiller began his career as a special education paraprofessional in Bemidji in 2011 before completing his teaching licensure and moving into an elementary teaching position in Red Lake for three years, and then moving to Hinckley-Finlayson School in 2015, where he was a classroom teacher and later an assistant principal. He served as high school principal in Willow River Area Schools for one year, then returned to his calling at the elementary school for three years.

“Mr. Schiller is driven by connection and community,” said Superintendent Rudolph. “He brings great energy and is ultra-focused on fostering strong relationships with students, families and staff. He has also been known to wear a superhero cape for students when they achieve their goals, a tradition much like Ms. Malecha’s willingness to be ‘slimed’ for meeting goals. Having researched and chosen our schools for his own children, he believes relationships are key to learning and growth. At the same time, he is data-driven and deeply committed to using data to improve student learning.”

"I am honored to be the next principal at Cambridge Primary School,” said Mr. Schiller. “I am excited for the opportunities to help our students foster a lifelong love of learning. I look forward to continuing to develop the C-I Schools Community for our students and families." 

The selection of school principals is an involved and highly selective process in Cambridge-Isanti Schools. Following the notices of retirements from the current principals in January, the district gathered feedback from staff and families about the qualities most important in school leadership. Earlier this month, the district hosted eight principal finalists for interviews and school tours. In all, the selection process included approximately 55 staff, parents, and student volunteers. Committees narrowed the candidate pool to finalists. Hiring great people is the most important task for schools. These principals will impact the lives of staff, students and families for a long time. We are confident these two exceptional educators will earn the trust and support of all the children, families and staff they serve.  

Mr. Schiller and Ms. Edwards will begin their new principal roles on July 1.


  • C-I Schools
  • Cambridge Primary School
  • Isanti Intermediate School

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Due to a board vacancy, Cambridge-Isanti Schools will have a special election on November 7, 2023, to fill the vacancy through the first Monday in January 2025.

Absentee voting begins Friday, September 22, and goes through Monday, November 6. Absentee voting is available through the mail or in-person at the Education Services Center.

On November 7, district residents can vote at their combined polling location (Cambridge Fire Hall or Isanti Community Center).

  • C-I Schools
Read More > about Absentee Voting Begins September 22