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Minneapolis Picks Superintendent Finalist

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The Minneapolis school board has picked an insider as its sole superintendent candidate.

The board voted unanimously last night to forward Bernadeia Johnson, the district's deputy superintendent, as its choice to lead the state's largest school district.

She will replace the retiring Bill Green, who plans to return to his career as a college professor.

The school board had planned to launch a national search, but decided otherwise after talking to national experts, including Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools.

"The public has told us they want stability, continuity and focus," board chairman Tom Madden told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "We are also eager to stabilize the district and move our academic agenda forward."

Johnson has spent the majority of her education career in the Twin Cities. She has served as a teacher and assistant principal in the St. Paul public schools and a elementary school principal in Minneapolis schools.

Johnson returned to Minneapolis as its chief academic officer in September 2006 after serving as Carol Johnson's deputy superintendent in Memphis. Carol Johnson, now superintendent in Boston, is a former Minneapolis superintendent.

The board will vote on Johnson at a Feb. 9 meeting, after hosting three public meet-and-greet sessions and a formal interview for their choice.

UPDATE: Listen to Bernadeia Johnson talk with Minnesota Public Radio's Cathy Wurzer about her selection here. and the district's priorities. (hat tip to MPR's Tom Weber for Tweeting the link!)

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