There’s a new coin of the realm, er district, abroad in Minneapolis.
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson has created a small token of appreciation that she’s calling the “superintendent’s coin.” She’s giving it both to distinguished guests and everyday employees who make extra efforts.
She dropped two coins on people in rapid succession earlier this month. Education Secretary Arne Duncan got his during a South High School appearance, the morning after Johnson gave another to Hashim Yonis at her Somali community forum and supper.
Yonis has been having quite a month. His works by day as school administrative manager for the school district’s Wellstone and Roosevelt high schools, a job that relieves the principal of non-academic administrative duties.
He also does community outreach on behalf of education by day and night in any of the seven languages he can converse in: Somali, Amharic, Oromo, Adara, Swahili and Arabic, not to mention English, which he reports he’s still learning.
Earlier this month, he got a hug from President Obama while at the White House to promote the STEP-UP summer jobs program. He’s back at the Executive Mansion Monday afternoon for a session on the Horn of Africa, hours after he’s to meet with Duncan.
Yonis said the award from Johnson was a surprise. The supe has also presented coins to mentor Carol Johnson, now superintendent of Boston schools, and to school nurse Cynthia Hillyer, for increasing screening of preschoolers.