Minneapolis South High School's principal has been reassigned after failing to obtain a state-approved license, the district told families on Wednesday.
Brett Stringer has asked for a one-year extension of his lapsed provisional license — a request that the Minnesota Board of School Administrators, which met Monday, still is considering. The board was alerted to his expired provisional license, granted in July 2019, through a citizen complaint.
On Sept. 20, Assistant Principal Stephen Simondet was named interim principal of South High.
Stringer was reassigned to work as an administrator on special assignment at the school district's main office.
In a letter to the board of school administrators on the same day, Stringer apologized and asked for the extension. He said the two years since moving to Minnesota from Colorado brought the "unprecedented challenges" of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. During that time, he did not obtain a Minnesota license.
Stringer said he's enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is taking courses toward the license. A letter from the district's senior officer of human resources to the board of school administrators said Stringer began the classes as soon as the district became aware of the licensure issue.
Tony Kinkel, the executive director of the state's board of school administrators, said the board is reviewing documents confirming Stringer's enrollment.
The board also may consider whether he can complete the coursework within a year.
"There have been only a couple times the board has waived the rule and extended a provisional license for a year," Kinkel said, adding that some of those cases were for military service and medical leaves.
The decision won't have to do with Stringer's performance as a principal, Kinkel said.
"We have to stay in our lane and all we can decide on is whether to extend the license or not," he said.
The board will discuss the request again at its meeting in late October.