Monday, July 28th, 2014

History of Oak View Middle School

Oak View Middle School came into being with the passage of a bond issue vote in November, 1993, by the citizens of the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Oak View was planned and built to help deal with the fast-growing population in the Andover area, and to help alleviate the crowded conditions at Fred Moore and Coon Rapids Middle Schools. The school was named Oak View because of the many stands of Red Oak in the area around the site chosen for the school.

Mr. Norm Hande, principal from 1995 - 2000.
Norm Hande, who had been an assistant principal at Blaine High School, as well as interim principal when the Blaine principal was on leave, was chosen to lead the development and construction of the school. In 1995, Mr. Hande hired the first dean (Diane Steffen), two secretaries (Jeanne Johnson and Donna Becker), and 13 teachers from around the school district representing different grade levels and departments to help plan for the school. Students who would be eventually attending Oak View were contacted, and the school colors, burgundy and grey, and the school mascot, the bobcat, were chosen. The administrators and teachers met regularly to plan school policies, direction, schedules, and so on. In the winter and spring of 1996, the rest of the staff members for the first year were chosen to join those already hired. A number of innovations were planned for the school, including interdisciplinary teaming, alternating day block scheduling, site-based decision making, and advisor-advisee program, and an exploratory program integrated into the schedule. In September, 1996, the school opened with about 950 students. Without any boundary changes, the student population grew to about 1250 by September, 2000. As numbers grew, a set of five modular classrooms was added to help with the growing crowds of students for the 1999-2000 school year. A mixed team of seventh and eighth grade students occupied the modular classrooms that year. The modular classrooms were also used for the 2000-01 school year, and for the fall of the 2001-02 year until the addition was completed in October, 2002 (see below). In the summer of 2000, Mrs. Diane Steffen was chosen to lead Oak View as principal after Mr. Hande was hired to supervise construction and be principal at the new Andover High School. (Mr. Hande later moved to be principal at Blaine High School.)

Mrs. Diane Steffen, principal from 2000 - 2006.

Mrs. Steffen led Oak View through the 2005-2006 school year, the school's tenth year, until she retired in June, 2006. Mrs. Steffen's tireless commitment to Oak View will long be remembered. Beginning in May, 2001, an addition to the building was begun which added ten additional classrooms to our building to help serve our growing numbers. Completion was in October, 2001. Starting the fall of 2002, Oak View had a boundary change which corresponded with the boundaries for the newly opened Andover High School. This way, all students who attend Oak View will eventually attend Andover High School. Construction crews visited Oak View again during the summer of 2005, building eight new classrooms. The classrooms are located in what used to be the resource areas in each of the four houses. Construction was completed in time to open the classrooms for use in the fall of 2005. More construction, but this time outside of Oak View, occurred in the fall of 2005. Due to continued growth, an increase of traffic on Hanson Boulevard, and the arrival of several strip malls and the Andover YMCA Community Center in the area, a need was seen for a traffic light in front of Oak View. Completed in January, 2006, the traffic signal project involved not just the traffic signal, but also adding turn lanes on Hanson and out of the school, as well as a median dividing traffic on Hanson. Added safety and smoother traffic flow has been the result.

Dr. Jinger Gustafson, Oak View Principal

In the spring of 2006 a search was begun for our new principal, and Dr. Jinger Gustafson was selected. Dr. Gustafson had been an assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School (in the Anoka-Hennepin district) before she came to Oak View. She officially began work at Oak View on July 1, 2006.  During Dr. Gustafson's time at Oak View the school staff worked to establish a teaching and learning system known as a professional learning community, developing collaborative teams among staff members within each core curricular area. In June, 2011, Dr. Gustafason was named interim Associate Superintendent for Middle Schools for the school district.


On October 22, 2009, our school nurse, Mrs. Laura Milford, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly while at home. Our student body and staff were greatly saddened by the news. Mrs. Milford worked tirelessly to serve the students and staff at Oak View, never seeking recognition for herself.

In June, 2011, when Dr. Gustafson assumed her new position with the school district, Gary Lundeen was named to be principal, starting July 1, 2011.  Mr. Lundeen was an assistant principal at Oak View before taking this position.