Tony Mosser didn't set out to become a school principal. At least, not at first.

He found ample fulfillment as a science teacher at Minnetonka Public Schools, beginning in 2000.

"I don't think every teacher starts off and says, 'My goal is to get to principal,'" he said. "I think all teachers know the kind of difficulties that principalship presents. You really don't know until you get into it."

The new Woodbury Elementary School principal succeeds Connha Classon, who left to become principal at Valley Crossing Elementary School.

''I've worked 16 years in the classroom and absolutely loved it, Mosser said. "It was a gas. Working with the kids and helping make those connections with the natural world around them, that was a lot of fun."

But he found a new calling after he became an instructional coach at Minnetonka. The position entailed furthering the professional development and classroom performance of the teaching staff.

"When you're teaching, sometimes it can be four walls," Mosser said. "That's your universe. When I started with that instructional coaching and staying current with education trends and research, that opened doors. Then you start to generate your own ideas and philosophies of what education can be and should be."

Mosser was assistant principal at Lake Middle School since 2015. That same year, he earned his K-12 education administration licensure from St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

He also served on the District 833 strategic planning team, a group tasked with meeting the long-range goals of increasing student engagement and empowerment.

A Colorado native, Mosser got his Masters in Science Education in 2011 and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1996 from Bemidji State University. The following year, he got his first posting as a teacher at Coppell Public Schools in Coppell, Texas.

As an instructional coach, he said he learned just as much from the teachers he worked with.

"Teaching, it's a unique career path," he said. "There's nothing more enjoyable. I got to be a worker bee."