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 32,000 PreK-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 100 languages and 70% of whom 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. Since March 2020, he has led the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring decisions meet the needs of students and families, prioritize community well-being, champion equity, and are fiscally sustainable. 

    In November 2022, the Board of Education unanimously approved a new three-year contract for Dr. Gothard, effective July 2023-June 2026.

    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 77 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, sits on the Board of Directors for Genesys Works Twin Cities, and is President Elect of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

    Gothard received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in education from Edgewood College in Madison, Wis., and sits on the college's Board of Trustees. 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 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Superintendent Joe Gothard

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