The Exceptional Contribution award is Hiawatha’s highest staff honor, recognizing outstanding service to scholars and families. The following staff were honored in June for their exceptional contributions in the last school year.

CarvalhoHattie Carvalho is the assistant principal at HLA – Northrop. Prior to this role, she was the assistant principal at HLA-Morris Park, director of student support services, special education coordinator, and a special education teacher. Hattie was a 2007 Teach For America corps member in Eastern North Carolina where she taught middle school. She then returned to her home state of Minnesota. She is excited to continue supporting Hiawatha’s students, teachers, and families as our scholars climb the mountain to college.


DibleyAnna Dibley is a proud Minnesotan and a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in History.  Anna taught social studies for five years in South Dakota, nonfiction for two years back home in Minneapolis, and is excited to continuing working with the fourth grade team at Hiawatha!  In addition to teaching, Anna enjoys reading and camping.



McKinleyWhitney McKinley is assistant principal at Hiawatha College Prep (HCP). She previously taught Visual Arts at HCP for 3 years and also served on Hiawatha Academies Board of Directors for 2 years. Whitney is a 2016 Teacher of the Year finalist. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, she lived in Ohio, New York, and Chicago before returning home to settle in St. Paul in 2010. Whitney has a B.S. in Studio Art from Denison University and a MED in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Now in her eleventh year as an educator, Whitney enjoys integrating themes of identity development, service-learning, and social justice into curriculum at HCP. In her free time Whitney enjoys traveling, hiking, bowling, cooking, knitting, gardening, and of course… bingo!

RojasMarcela Rojas is the Office Manager at Hiawatha Leadership Academy-Morris Park.  Originally from Santiago, Chile, Ms. Marcela holds a Law degree from the University of Chile, and comes to Hiawatha with over 20 years of experience working in Education. She is passionate about helping children and their families to achieve their greatest potential, academic and otherwise, in a community of high expectations such as Hiawatha Academies. She is also committed to working with the children’s families, many times acting as a “cultural bridge” between immigrant families and the school. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.