MMSD is excited to announce that Dr. Joe Gothard has been chosen to lead the District as its next Superintendent
Dr. Gothard’s selection is the culmination of a search process, supported by Alma Advisory Group, that began in May 2023 and was hallmarked by community involvement, most recently evidenced by two days of intensive stakeholder-led interviews of the three shortlisted candidates.
It also marks a homecoming for Dr. Gothard, a native Madisonian who attended MMSD schools throughout his elementary, middle, and high school years, before going on to serve as a staff member of Lincoln Elementary School and Principal of both Akira R. Toki Middle School and Robert M. La Follette High School, as well as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools.
“Having grown up in Madison, and having attended MMSD from kindergarten through grade 12, I am excited to return home,” said Dr. Gothard. “Thank you to the Board of Education for selecting me to lead the MMSD community. I eagerly anticipate reconnecting with familiar faces, while also building new relationships with staff, students, families, and partners who are dedicated to advancing MMSD's excellence. Together, we will create a shared pride in our efforts to make MMSD the best it can be."
Presently the Superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools, the second-largest and most diverse school district in Minnesota, Dr. Gothard was recently named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, which measures applicants’ leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement.
“There was overwhelming support for Dr. Gothard, both among the Board and in our community,” said Madison Board of Education President Nichelle Nichols. “We are excited to welcome him back to Madison, and we look forward to his contributions to improving educational outcomes for students across our district.”
Dr. Gothard’s contract will begin on July 1, 2024. Interim Superintendent Lisa Kvistad will continue to serve in her current capacity until that time, offering “her full support during Dr. Gothard’s transition to be our next Superintendent.” She further notes that "we are all eager to have Dr. Gothard here in MMSD with us, and we also acknowledge and respect that he will have details to work through as he finishes the year as St. Paul’s Superintendent.”
An introductory press conference is being planned for the coming weeks, details of which will be made available as soon as they are finalized.