About Our School

Anne Sullivan School opened in 1991 in a building that was formerly an AT&T warehouse. Located near beautiful Minneapolis parks, the Mississippi River and the path of the Minneapolis Greenway bicycle and walking trail.

Our bright and airy building has windows that surround the premises, an atruim where classes can gather in an open-air environment to get creativity and thoughts flowing. We have two playgrounds one we call "The Tot Lot" for our younger students and a brand new redesigned playground for our older students with a blacktop and field for basketball, kickball, soccer, and other activtities. 


From our student council newsletter, Sullivan Buzz, Vol 1, Is 8, April 30, 2021:

(As told to Hibo Muse (7th grade) by Jeff Sanders (PhyEd Teacher))

Where did time go?

Anne Sullivan Communication Center will be 30 years old in September 2021.

Did you know that Sullivan originated from Seward School? That’s right, Seward. Seward Elementary School, just 6 blocks from here. Seward shares the same building as Matthews Park. It used to be a Kindergarten through 6th grade school with the only Deaf Hard of Hearing (DHH) Program in Minneapolis. The DHH Program is the longest lasting program from both schools. Both Seward & Sullivan.

In the 1980’s, Seward was just too small for its growing program, so they built portable classrooms to help ease the growing numbers of students and staff. Little trailer homes (Called Portables) positioned around the outside of the building. Most of them were built for the specialist’s classroom. In the winter they would get very cold. In fact, they had one bathroom for both boys and girls to share. If someone flushed the toilet, the lights would dim. True Story. We did not have computers, or telephones in our classroom. We didn’t even know what a cell phone was. Besides the four telephones in the main office there was only one phone that staff could use to make personal calls. It was in a small broom closet. It had a desk, chair and a rotary dial telephone. In the hallway a light bulb stuck straight out of the wall above the door. When the light was on, it meant that someone was using the phone. You could just imagine how upset staff got when somebody left the light on when they were finished with their call.

In September 1991, Seward School Staff and students moved to their new building called Anne Sullivan Communication Center. Full of awesome technologies, like microwaves and vending machines in the staff lounge, computers and a telephone in every classroom. It was Minneapolis Public Schools pride and joy of the district. People would visit from all over the world to come and see this spectacular building, its program, students and staff.

Before the building was Sullivan, it was a Western Electric Phone Company that sat vacant for many years. Moving into our new building was challenging because construction wasn’t complete. The gym didn’t have a roof or even a floor. It was just dirt. We waited until November before the gym could hold its first class. Before the gym was completed, we taught Gym Class outside or in the hallways and rotundas.

For the first 10 years, Sullivan only used ½ of the building. The other ½ was used as a district warehouse. It was like a Museum. Mr. Jeff used to walk through it and look at all the old stuff the district kept. One cool thing was that the warehouse had a drive-in heated garage. It was a loading dock located in the NW corner of the building with a working car wash. Mr. Jeff used to park indoors and wash his car anytime that he wanted. Ahh! the good old days.

During the first year Sullivan was a grade K-6 school. Year Two Sullivan was a grade K-7 school and in Year Three it became a K-8 School. 10 years later Minneapolis Public Schools had a decision to make. Sullivan was a finalist to house the YWCA, which is now on Lake Street. The decision was made to build a new addition instead of the YWCA. The auditorium, Gym C & D, east lunchroom, middle school media center, art room and many more classrooms were added to occupy the entire building. Anne Sullivan has had several makeovers throughout the years and the building is still as beautiful as the first day it was built.

Happy 30th Birthday Anne Sullivan Communication Center!

Some Fun Facts!

Did you know:

· How Anne Sullivan Communication Center got its name and who was Anne Sullivan?

- Anne Sullivan was Helen Keller’s teacher and friend. Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing when she was 19 months old.

- Seward School was home to the only Deaf Hard of Hearing Program in Minneapolis. Where students were bused in from many different surrounding suburbs. This is how Anne Sullivan was chosen.

- Western Electric was a Phone Company. Communication Center came from that which tied the two together. We communicate in different ways. This was true back than and is ever more apparent today.

· How many Principals we have had at Anne Sullivan Communication Center? If you guessed 9 you are correct.

- They are in order: 1. Jim Smrekar 1991-93, 2. Gary Chesner 1993-98, 3. (Kathy Alvig) K-5 1998, 4. Eleanor Coleman 6-8 1998, K-8 1999-2002, 5. Tom Hegranes 2002-04, 6. David Branch 2004-2007, 7. Greg Beyer 2007-2009, 8. Ron Wagner 2009-2014, 9. Jennifer Hedberg 2014-Current Date. Ms. Hedberg has been at Sullivan School the longest of any other Principal

· Mr. Paul Sanroman (Building Engineer) and Mr. Jeff have been at Sullivan School from the beginning in 1991.

Playground redesign at Sullivan, in community partnership with KABOOM! and Delta Airlines.