About Dr. Gothard

  • Dr. Joe Gothard has been superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) since July 1, 2017. He is the educational leader of the school district, which serves approximately 36,000 Pre-K-12 students and employs over 5,500 staff. SPPS is the second-largest and most diverse school district in Minnesota, with students who speak more than 125 languages and 70% who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

    Gothard launched the SPPS Achieves strategic plan in December 2018 to set aspirational and attainable goals for student achievement, guide decision-making, and focus the district’s efforts on long-term student outcomes. In 2020-21, he led the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring decisions met the needs of students and families, prioritized community well-being, championed equity, and were fiscally sustainable. 


    Previous Experience:

    • Superintendent of Schools, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, Burnsville, Minn.
    • Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools, Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison, Wis.
    • High School Principal, Robert M. La Follette High School, Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison, Wis.
    • Middle School Principal, Akira R. Toki Middle School, Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison, Wis.

    Gothard believes in the power of public education to foster relationships, build community, and inspire students to achieve beyond their highest expectations. In 2021, he was named to a two-year term on the Executive Committee of the Council of Great City Schools, which comprises leaders from the 76 largest urban public school districts in the United States. He is also a member of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, co-chair of the Generation Next Executive Committee, serves on the Executive Committee for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, and sits on the Board of Directors for Genesys Works Twin Cities and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

    Gothard received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in education from Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Mary. They have three grown children.

    Communication is important to Dr. Gothard. You can reach him at joe.gothard@spps.org or 651-767-8152.

Superintendent Joe Gothard

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