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Magas tapped as next superintendent in Duluth

By Ben Rodgers

GREEN BAY – Duluth (Minnesota) Public Schools announced on its website John Magas has been selected as the final choice for superintendent.

Magas is currently superintendent for continuous improvement for the Green Bay school district.

The Duluth school board selected Magas as its final choice for superintendent during a special meeting March 25.

The vote followed a months-long process which included hiring a search firm, a public process to develop a leadership profile, input from community groups and organizations and two rounds of public interviews.

The Duluth board is scheduled to begin contract negotiations immediately and vote on a contract in April.

“I’m really thrilled to feel that I’m going to be able to serve a community in the capacity as superintendent,” Magas said. “I loved my time in Green Bay. I’m also really excited about what Duluth has to offer. It’s a mid-sized district with some really great resources and some challenges to overcome. That combination of having some solid foundations with an opportunity to grow is pretty thrilling.”

The district has two high schools, two middle schools and nine elementary schools and serves roughly 8,600 students.

“I think it’s nice to have responsibility for the whole district and the interface for the community,” Magas said. “It’s a new challenge. but one I’m really excited about taking on.”

The district also has an online academy, adult learning center, six schools which serve populations from other areas, and supports for accessing mental health and addiction services.

“He really came across as being a champion for equity and ensuring the highest quality of learning, for all learners,” said Jill Lofald, Duluth school board chair. “He has a great ability to talk about his experiences and putting that through a lens of how he uses that led with equity and academic success.”

Lofald said the board unanimously selected Magas after receiving six candidates through the search firm BWP & Associates.

In addition to his role in Green Bay, Magas’s experience includes director of secondary teaching, learning and equity for the Sun Prairie Area School District; principal for the Appleton Area School District; and assistant principal for the Toppenish School District in Washington.

He holds an educational specialist degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison; Washington state principal certification from Gonzaga University; a master’s degree in ESL/bilingual education and teaching certificate from Heritage College; a bachelor of arts degree Spanish major/English minor from Northern Michigan University and Spanish courses from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

“John will come into our school district and show families across the community Duluth is a great place to raise students,” Lofald said.

The Green Bay school district has yet to have had serious discussions on the backfilling of Magas position. He is scheduled to start in Duluth July 1.

“We are very appreciative of John’s leadership and the many contributions he has made on behalf of all the district’s students while serving as our associate superintendent,” said Green Bay Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld. “We wish him nothing but the very best as he assumes his new role as superintendent of schools in Duluth.”

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