MINNEAPOLIS (June 14, 2011) – Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, announced last week that another key leadership position within her administration has been filled. Rick Mills will serve as deputy superintendent for MPS effective July 1, 2011.
The deputy superintendent leads the supervision of schools through the associate superintendents and supervises major divisions including academics, finance, human resources, facilities, plant operations and other general operations departments. The deputy superintendent is designated as acting superintendent in the superintendent’s absence.
“Rick brings a depth of knowledge and experience in leadership, strategic plan development and execution and performance management,” said Johnson. “Our school district will benefit from his skills in the areas of operations administration and motivating exemplary staff performance, which will allow me to maintain my commitment to focusing intensely on academic achievement. I look forward to working with him and my leadership team on behalf of our 33,000 wonderfully diverse students and their families.”
Mills comes to Minneapolis from Chicago Public Schools, where he most recently served as chief area officer/area superintendent for the past two years. During this time, he established the highest performing high school area in CPS.
Mills’ prior employment was in the CPS area instructional office of military schools and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps as area instructional officer from July 2005 to August 2009 and as military area officer/director from July 2001 to October 2005. During his past ten years at CPS, Mills led successful school programs in which students demonstrated measurable achievement results.
Prior to joining CPS, Mills served the U.S. military in numerous capacities, including as squadron commander, international program director, political-military advisor and executive officer and logistics director in the U.S. military. He began his career in the U.S. military in 1980. He also served as deputy chief of plans and policy for the United Nations in Jerusalem from June 1990 to June 1991 and as assistant professor at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, from August 1987 to June 1990.
Mills holds a Master of Arts degree in business from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“Rick is an exceptional leader with a strong commitment to improving student performance and community engagement,” said Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, superintendent of the Michigan City Area Schools who supervised Mills during her time as deputy superintendent of CPS under then-Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, now the U.S. Secretary of Education. “He will certainly be an asset to the great work underway in Minneapolis.”