Alternate named to superintendent committee

The one Minneapolis principal serving on the Superintendent Selection Committee withdrew in April, prompting some of her peers to raise questions about the role of principals in the search for a new district leader.

Stadium View Principal Rhonda Larkin was replaced on the 11-member committee by an alternate, Christine Belfrey Johnson, a parent liaison at Southwest High School who lives in Bryn Mawr. The change took place before the committee met for the first time in April.

“She emailed us that she thought the time commitment was going to be too much, so she wasn’t going to be on the committee,” explained School Board Member Nelson Inz, who chairs the committee.

Inz said he later received an email Minneapolis Principals Forum President Donna Andrews advocating for the inclusion of at least one principal. But there were no other principals on the board-approved alternates list, and the accelerated timeline of the search meant they needed to fill the seat and move on, Inz said.

The time commitment required of committee members isn’t light. Inz said the committee spent seven-and-a-half hours narrowing the list of applicants to five top candidates.

While he isn’t a district principal, the committee does include Joseph Rice, executive director of Nawayee Center, a district contract alternative school.