Minneapolis Public Schools will soon reveal its finalists for superintendent, capping a search that's stretched for more than a year following the appointment of Rochelle Cox as interim leader for Minnesota's fourth-largest school district.
A committee composed of school board members, students, district educators and representatives from the community selected finalists last week. Those candidates will be announced this week.
The school board will interview superintendent candidates over two or three consecutive evenings beginning Nov. 27. Board members will then vote to decide their preferred candidate Dec. 1. All meetings are open to the public.
The district's next permanent leader will start the job as its schools face financial headwinds amid steadily declining enrollment. In December, the school board will set the parameters of an audit of its real estate holdings.
District financial analysts say the district is built to accommodate more than 40,000 students. Current enrollment is about 27,000 and will likely shrink further, although analysts say the steepest drops are in the past. That means the district must prepare for a shrinking share of state funding based on student headcounts.
School board members and district officials chose a committee of 17 people to sift through applications and recommend two or three finalists for interviews. Board Member Lori Norvell is the chair.
The 17 members of the search committee are school board members Norvell, Abdul Abdi and Adriana Cerrillo; students Drew Wesson and Abdihafid Mohamed; Green Central Elementary Principal Matthew Arnold and North High Principal Mauri Friestleben; education support professionals Wyhett Ugaas and Brenda Johnson; Hale Elementary teacher Matthew Collier and Patrick Henry High School teacher Kaytie Kamphoff; and community members Nekima Levy Armstrong, Titilayo Bediako, Abdirahman Mukhtar, Patricia Torres Ray, Francisco Segovia and Lucie Skjefte.