New associate superintendents include two Southwest principals

Lucilla Yira and Jackie Hanson join district leadership as part of a restructured associate superintendent model

A class of four new Minneapolis Public Schools associate superintendents announced Friday includes two Southwest-area principals.

The move comes as the district expands and restructures its cadre of associate superintendents. Instead of three positions divided geographically, there are now seven positions, each assigned a portfolio of 10–12 schools apportioned by type.

Windom Dual Immersion School Principal Lucilla Yira and Anthony Middle School Principal Jackie Hanson are two of the principals shifting into an associate superintendent role. They are joined by Laura Cavender, principal of Pillsbury School in Northeast, and Ron Wagner, principal of Anne Sullivan Communication Center in South Minneapolis.

Yira will lead the district’s magnet schools, Hanson is in charge of middle schools and Cavender is tasked with oversight of the district’s lagging high-priority schools.

Wagner and Stephen Flisk, currently associate superintendent for Area B schools in the southeast part of the city, are placed in charge of the K–8 schools. Wagner’s purview is the western half of the city, Flisk’s the eastern half.

Cecilia Saddler will lead all of the city’s high schools, a change from her current role as associate superintendent of Area C in Southwest Minneapolis. Saddler is a former principal of South High School.

Charge of the district’s alternative schools goes to Associate Superintendent Sara Paul, who currently heads the Office of Achievement and Innovation.

Michael Thomas, associate superintendent of Area A schools in North Minneapolis, moves into the role of chief of schools, a new position created by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. Thomas will direct the work of the other associate superintendents