The retiring Anoka-Hennepin superintendent will be skipping a gala in his honor Thursday night, but the head of Minnesota’s largest school district isn’t playing hooky.

Dennis Carlson, below, who was to be honored at the event in Andover, was in Woodstock, N.Y., to celebrate the birth of his grandson, Gideon Lee Carlson Cook. Gideon entered the world at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday, weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces. Both baby and grandfather are reportedly doing fine.

Carlson and his wife, Edee, were in upstate New York for more than two weeks, waiting with their daughter, Annie, for the big event.

Plans were for Tom Heidemann, chairman of the Anoka-Hennepin school board, to speak on Carlson’s behalf on Thursday,