School & District Management

St. Paul, Minn., School District Selects New Superintendent

By Denisa R. Superville — April 26, 2017 1 min read

The St. Paul, Minn., school board has tapped a new superintendent, offering a three-year contract to Joe Gothard, who leads a nearby suburban district.

All the details of the agreement were still unclear Tuesday, but Gothard will be paid $232,000 in his first year and he will be eligible for salary increases in his second and third years, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

The Minneapolis Post reported that the board hoped to finalize the new superintendent’s contract by May 1.

Gothard was one of two remaining finalists for the job, which opened up after the school board fired Valeria Silva last year. The other candidate in the running was Cheryl Logan, the chief academic support officer in Philadelphia. (Another finalist—Orlando Ramos, a regional superintendent in Milwaukee—withdrew his name, the Minneapolis Post reported.)

Gothard currently leads the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district, where he makes $195,200 annually. While he is not required to move to St. Paul, the district will cover the cost of relocation if he chooses to do so by the fall of 2018, the Pioneer Press reported.

Gothard will be taking the reins in a district that has been grappling with budget issues—St. Paul faces an estimated $27 million budget gap in the next year—declining enrollment, and tensions over school policing and racial disparities in student discipline, Minneapolis Public Radio and the Pioneer Press reported.

He will replace John Thein, who came out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent after the board ousted Silva last June amid concerns about school safety and declining enrollment. The district paid Silva, who had two years and a half years left on her contract, $787,500 to leave early. (Silva’s annual base salary was $213,026—slightly less than Gothard’s.)

Silva’s separation agreement allowed her to stay on through September 2017 as a consultant to the district.

Related stories

St. Paul, Minn., Superintendent Ousted by School Board

A Fight to Build Trust With School Police

School district tries making its police ‘more guardian than warrior’

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.