Craig Vana, a longtime administrator and teacher for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), has been named interim associate superintendent for Southwest, also known as “Area C.”
He replaces Craig Hintz, who was promoted to deputy superintendent on Feb. 6.
Vana will fill the role until at least June 30. He's also the current associate superintendent of Career and Technical Education and Additional Education Programs. He manages and develops external partnerships with postsecondary institutions such as businesses, industries and community-based organizations, and establishes partnerships with the district's High School Transformation Initiative.
Vana said he's excited about the new job.
“I'll do whatever I need to [in order to] provide support for the area schools,” he said.
He said he plans to visit schools, review site plans, investigate testing progress and get updated enrollment projections. He'll also continue his efforts for high school reform, which he's been leading for the past five years. The purpose of the reform is to “personalize the high school experience,” he explained.
Vana has been an administrator or teacher at every grade level. He began his MPS career as a teacher at Roosevelt Middle School 19 years ago. Vana has also been the executive director of Teacher and Instructional Services, principal at Edison High School and Folwell Middle School, assistant principal at Southwest High School and assistant principal and teacher at St. Charles School in Minneapolis.
Vana, who's originally from Chicago, has three grown kids and two grandchildren. He has a bachelor's degree in history and education, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and an educational specialist degree in secondary administration from the University of St. Thomas, where he's also working toward a superintendent license.
He said he has a deeply rooted passion for education.
“I look at it as a vocation and mission, especially for those who need support and opportunity. That's what makes me tick.”