Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District

Step 2: Pankalo Education Center

Pankalo education center

Tentative Timeline

  • November 2013: School board authorizes purchase agreement for land in Lake Elmo to enable implementation of Step 2 of the 3-step vision
  • December 2013: City of Lake Elmo grants a 24 month conditional use permit for application of final plan development of property for Southeast K-8 facility
  • April 2015: Planning and design meetings with staff for Southeast K-8 facility. Evaluation of what works/what doesn't work at KBEC. What would we do differently?
  • October 2015: Application of final plan development for Southeast K-8 facility in Lake Elmo
  • Fall/Winter 2015: Financing for Southeast K-8 facility finalized
  • February 2016: Bids awarded for Southeast K-8 facility in Lake Elmo
  • Spring 2016: Construction begins on Southeast K-8 facility in Lake Elmo
  • September 2017: School opens at Southeast K-8 facility in Lake Elmo

Update - December 2016

View the Pankalo website at  

Update - August 2015

Lake Elmo school finalizes name, theme
The future K-8 special education school in Lake Elmo can now be referred to by its new name, Pankalo Education Center. The name comes from a combination of the greek words pan and kalos which means complete beauty. This ties into the vision for the school “Empowering students through creativity” and will use elements from the arts to support learning and enhance cognitive abilities, facilitate identity formation and self-esteem, foster a physically and emotionally safe environment, as well as support individual expression and communication.

The educational philosophy and focus on the creative arts will provide students with a palette of activities that will:
  • allow our students to grow academically, socially, and personally, while tapping into their creativity
  • allow our unique learners to access core content academics in creative ways
  • provide a calming and creative atmosphere 
  • connect educational philosophies to the arts, helping our students build relationships between their inner and outer worlds
  • give our students tools for communication, appropriate emotional release and self-regulation
  • utilize the Compassionate School Model
Amy Johncox, current principal/manager for the elementary ALP programs at John Glenn and Valley Crossing has been selected as the new principal/manager for the future Lake Elmo School. Tammy Bednar, current assistant principal/manager at Karner Blue will join Amy as the assistant principal/manager at Lake Elmo and will be able to use her experiences from opening Karner Blue to assist with the transition of opening Lake Elmo.

Amy and Tammy, along with Kristine Carr, director of administrative services and Dan Naidicz, director of special education make up the core planning team and they have been meeting regularly to finalize the thematic and design elements of the building, many of which will mirror the successful elements from Karner Blue.

Pankalo Education Center will open in the fall of 2017. Watch more information as planning develops.  
Last Updated 12-2-16