June can be a bittersweet time for many of us at the Minneapolis Public Schools. Our students wrap up the school year and a mixture of sadness and excitement is in the air. Our principals, teachers and all staff are proud of the accomplishments our students have made. Our schools are all hosting annual celebrations, carnivals, performances, recognition activities and commencement ceremonies. A special congratulations to our graduating seniors who are ready to tackle the “real world.”
June 30 will be my last day as superintendent and I feel mixed emotions myself. Serving the Minneapolis Public Schools’ students, staff and community has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I hope you will feel, at the end of my term, that all of our students’ lives and educational experiences have been as enriched as mine has been in serving them. I know that change, while it may be unsettling, is essential for growth. It helps us expand our understanding and our experience. We are committed to building a lifelong passion for continuous learning in all of our students and learning to cope and even thrive with change is part of that education.
I must admit, that through the many changes we have faced this year, it is always nice to be greeted by a friendly, familiar face. That person, Bernadeia Johnson, has served as my deputy superintendent at the Minneapolis Public Schools since August 2005. She is ready and excited to begin her new position as Superintendent of Schools in July. Under her direction, MPS will continue its important work in narrowing the achievement gap while offering all of our students a high-quality education that prepares them for college or a career. She knows our staff, our students, our families and our communities and the district is pleased that the important work being done will continue forward with momentum during this crucial time.
Although I am moving on to the next adventure of teaching and writing at Augsburg College, I will not be far away. Whatever you do, wherever your life takes you, I hope that you, too, continue learning, growing and changing. I know our paths may cross in the future.
Thank you all for the opportunity to serve our students. They are truly our hope for the future.
William Green is superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.