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Greetings from Your New Interim Superintendent

Greetings from Your New Interim Superintendent

Dear Saint Paul Public Schools Community,

My name is John Thein, the new interim superintendent for Saint Paul Public Schools. Some of you may remember me from the last time I was interim superintendent in 2016-17. I look forward to reconnecting with those who I already know, and to meeting many more new faces in the coming months.

It is exciting to rejoin Saint Paul Public Schools at this important time for the district. I am grateful to the Saint Paul Board of Education for offering me the opportunity to serve in this role. I also want to thank Dr. Gothard for his seven years of service and all that he has done for the SPPS community.

One of the things that many people want to know is: “What will you focus on during your tenure in SPPS?” I want to share some of my main priorities with you now:

  • Safe and Secure Environments: Learning in a safe and secure environment is a fundamental right for every student, staff member and visitor in our buildings. This requires teamwork, including our families and partners in the community. I am committed to doing my part and hope you will join me.

  • Successful Learners: All learners, of all ages and backgrounds, must have the support they need to be successful. This also includes all members of the SPPS community. I know I will learn from each of you just as your children learn from their teachers every day. 

  • Sound Financial Management: Managing finances is not the job of just one person or department. We all have a stake in ensuring that the district’s resources are spent wisely. Questions and ideas about how to make the best use of our resources are welcome.

  • Superintendent Search: Helping the Board of Education find and hire an exemplary leader is the most difficult and challenging task we face. I will be calling on all of you to help us find the best person to serve this culturally rich, diverse and passionate community and continue to move the district forward.

While my time in Saint Paul Public Schools will be short, my focus for the 2024-25 school year is to build on long-term student outcomes, foster respectful relationships, and lay the foundation for the next chapter of SPPS. I look forward to doing this important work together.

Thank you,