Rick Mills is leaving his No. 2 post in Minneapolis Public Schools to head Manatee County schools, a 45,000-student district near Tampa Bay.

Mills was a finalist for chief jobs in three districts, including St. Cloud this week, after earning his superintendent license last month by accumulating a portfolio of work. Mills was named a finalist Tuesday night in St. Cloud, but the Florida board chose him on Wednesday.

The job offer in Florida is contingent on Mills reaching a contract with the district. It returns him to the area where the retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel served for four years in the U. S. Central Command.
Mills supervised such key areas as technology, finance, administration, personnel, academics and family engagement. He alienated some Minneapolis administrators with his style.  One Manatee board member told the Bradenton Herald that Mills isn’t warm and fuzzy but others there say him as structured and able to institute systems. Those who disliked Mills’ style at Minneapolis Public Schools were cheered by his departure.
Mills is expected to be paid between $170,000 and $190,000 annually in his new job, the Bradenton Herald reported. He was hired at $175,000 in Minneapolis.