At Hiawatha Academies, each day is a promise: to live out our vision for a great school for every child. As we launch our three-year strategic plan, we recommit to ensuring that every day each Hiawatha Academies classroom is a place of deep student engagement and rigorous learning.

To do so requires a consistent experience for students and families, which leverages growth from the first day of kindergarten through Hiawatha Collegiate High School graduation. Hiawatha Academies Board of Directors voted this month to bring together its elementary and middle school programs on the Northrop campus into a united K-8 program. Across our community and our city,families have consistently placed value on K-8 models. We have an opportunity to respond to that community appeal.

The move will build a continuous student and family experience, bring teacher teams together, ease student transitions, and make strategic investments in core areas of aligned K-8 support systems. Taking into consideration the age of Hiawatha College Prep – Northrop at only 2 years, this transition also made logical sense to implement the unification and aligning.

Beginning in SY21, HLA-Northrop and HCP-Northrop will become a K-7 school under a united Campus Leadership Team. The Northrop program will add 8th grade in school year 2021-2022, and will ensure that all scholars are on track for the rigorous college preparatory program at Hiawatha Collegiate High School

Hiawatha Academies is pleased to announce that HLA-Northrop’s elementary principal, Nate Manaen will lead the K-8 campus. HCP-Northrop Interim Principal Beda Martinez will continue to lead as Assistant Principal. The campus leadership team will partner with staff and families to build a detailed plan for merging the academic programs, school cultures, and family experiences for a seamless transition.


About Nate Manaen

Nate Manaen joined the Hiawatha Academies team in July 2019. He taught third grade in Las Vegas and then in Minneapolis. He has worked as a principal resident, a school improvement coach and for six years, as principal of Ravenswood Elementary with Chicago Public Schools. During his time as principal, he oversaw Ravenswood students rise from performing in the bottom 10th to the 90th percentile and achieve the highest school rating score in the city. Nate holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wheaton College, a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from UNLV, and a Master of Education in School Leadership from Harvard University.

About Beda Martinez

Beda Martinez grew up experiencing two realities. One reality was that of many other low-income students of color, and the other was that of more affluent white families. This became abundantly clear when she transferred from the comfort of her neighborhood school to a less diverse elementary school. The schools were no more than a few miles apart but the expectations for students were vastly different. After triple majoring at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Beda joined the teaching force and then became an instructional coach in Las Vegas. She went on to work in education policy and advocacy. Now, she has returned to the school system as the founding Dean of Instruction for Hiawatha College Prep – Northrop, and is currently serving as the school’s Interim Principal.