The potential goodbye of Rick Mills from Minneapolis Public Schools puts us in the mind of that classic song by The Clash: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
Mills is the No. 2 administrator for the district. He disclosed on Feb. 1 that he’s one of six finalists for superintendent of schools in Manatee County, Fla. The school board there is planning to make a decision on Wednesday.
But when he disclosed his finalist status, Mills made it seem as if he was applying solely because of military service and family ties to the area.
“If this opportunity were not to come to fruition I would be equally content and committed to continuing my service here,” Mills said in a statement.
But the latest news puts that assertion in doubt. Mills is also a finalist for superintendent of Plymouth-Canton district in the suburbs of Detroit, which expects to make a decision in May. There’s evidence he’s also looking elsewhere.
Mills notes tht his statement also speaks to his career goal of becoming a superintendent, and calls his job search selective.
Mills’s bolt for the door comes just after he’s achieved the status of licensed superintendent. The state’sBoard of School Administrators granted him licensure on Jan. 14. He earned the license by an alternative route that involves compiling a portfolio of work reviewed by a panel of superintendents.
But Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson so far has kept Mills’ title as chief executive officer, not the deputy superintendent handle he was hired as. That proved embarrassing when the district was told that Mills lacked to proper license to serve as deputy superintendent and couldn’t be in charge of the district when Johnson was away. Now that he’s properly licensed, he’s been in charge during Johnson’s current vacation.
Mills said Monday he's looking at opportunities now because this is the time when districts seeking to fill vacancies in their superintendencies are making decisions. If none hires him, he said he'll reup for another year's contract in Minneapolis through mid-2014..
Mills, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, said he has ties to Manatee County and the Tampa area because he served there for four years at the U.S. Central Command. He worked as a district administrator in Chicago public schools before Minneapolis hired him.