One of these 6 candidates will lead Minneapolis public schools


Six candidates are in the running to become the next superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. The school district released a list of the six semifinalists Monday afternoon.

The school board plans to conduct interviews with all six of them next week before choosing finalists to visit Minneapolis for a series of more rigorous interviews.

That interview process will include some sessions that will be open to the public, WCCO reports.

The board hopes to name the new superintendent by mid-December.

The new hire will succeed former superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, who resigned from the position in January after leading the district for four years.

Michael Goar, who has been serving as interim superintendent since Johnson's departure, is one of the six candidates for the permanent position. There's one other Minnesota candidate in the field – Jinger Gustafson of the Anoka-Hennepin district.

Here's a quick look at the six candidates:

Michael Goar: Interim superintendent of MPS. Was chief executive officer prior to that appointment. Has also worked for school systems in Memphis and Boston. Minneapolis native. Education: Minneapolis Washburn High School; UW-River Falls; MSU Mankato.

Jinger Gustafson: Associate superintendent of Anoka-Hennepin School District for the past four years. Has also been a principal in the district, and was administrator and teacher in the Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley District. Native of Larimore, N.D. Education: North Dakota State University; University of St. Thomas; St. Mary's University.

Charles Foust: Assistant superintendent of Houston Independent School District for the past three years. Has also been a principal in Houston and Greensboro, North Carolina. Native of Gibsonville, N.C. Education: North Carolina A & T State University; University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; University of Houston.

Sergio Paez: Superintendent of Holyoke, Massachusetts, schools for the past two years. Also has been an administrator, principal and teacher in Holyoke, Leominster and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Native of Queens, New York City. Education: Fitchburg State College; Harvard; Boston College.

Jesse Rodriguez: Regional superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools for the past three years. Has also been an administrator, principal and teacher in Milwaukee schools. Native of Milwaukee. Education: Carroll College; Cardinal Stritch University.

Kenneth Spells: Superintendent of Alton, Illinois, School District for the past five years; adjunct professor at Southern Illinois University. Has also been an administrator, principal and teacher in several districts in Illinois and South Carolina. Native of Tar Heel, North Carolina. Education: Fayetteville State University; Eastern Illinois University; Maryville University.

The new superintendent will face significant challenges, especially in addressing the district's achievement gap between white students and students of color.

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