Rochester Public Schools superintendent resigns after plagiarism incidents

Michael Muñoz will continue to serve in the superintendent role through June 30.
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Michael Munoz

The Rochester Public Schools Superintendent has resigned after a series of plagiarism incidents.

The Rochester Public School Board voted to accept the resignation of Superintendent Michael Muñoz at the conclusion of its Tuesday meeting. Muñoz will continue to serve as superintendent through June 30. Muñoz has served in the position since 2011. 

Muñoz apologized to the Rochester Public Schools community in December after it was discovered that a Thanksgiving letter he had sent to district employees contained plagiarism in nearly every sentence.

Different typefaces and font sizes throughout the letter indicated plagiarism from up to five sources.

“I want to say I am really sorry that I made the bad choice that I did to plagiarize the Thanksgiving letter that was sent to you last week. I know by doing this I have damaged your respect and trust in me,” Muñoz wrote in a letter to staff.

Following the discovery, Muñoz was also suspended by the school board for five days in early December.

But a school district parent, who wished to remain anonymous, came out with other possible instances of plagiarism by Muñoz last month, according to the Star Tribune. They include graduation speeches and an April letter sent to students and parents about COVID-19.

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A reader also contacted Bring Me The News, forwarding a transcript from a speech he made in a "Welcome to Staff" message as far back as 2017, which contained lines taken from speeches by several other educators.

After the other possible incidents came to light, hundreds of students, parents and Rochester Public Schools alumni signed a petition calling for Muñoz to step down.

“As Superintendent, Mr. Muñoz is the chief administrator of the schools; he should have held himself to the standards he set for the rest of the Rochester Public sChools,” the petition reads. “By repeatedly plagiarizing, he has failed his duty to uphold the standards entrusted to him by the students, teachers, and community as a whole.” 

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