Bill Zimniewicz has been the director of Jennings Community School since June of 2006. He grew up in St. Paul’s Midway Area and attended Macalester College. Bill graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education and he received his Master’s Degree in teacher leadership also from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He has over three decades of experience as a progressive educator. During the 1980s, Bill received his first teaching position at a Native American alternative school in St. Paul. He also founded two schools: South St. Paul Area Learning Center and River Heights Charter School. River Heights changed its name to Academic Arts High School and Bill served on its board as president.
While director of South St. Paul Area Learning Center, Bill led an effort for the school to receive the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Grant (CSRD). As a result, the school became nationally recognized. South St. Paul Area Learning Center later changed its name to South St. Paul Community Learning Center. The name change reflected the new philosophy the school and district had adopted.
Bill has served on the board of the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs (MAAP) for several years. He was president of MAAP from 2000-02. He has consistently been a strong advocate of student-centered learning and democratic schools. In 2013, Bill was honored by MAAP and was given its Exemplary Award.