Hamilton County Schools deputy superintendent not chosen to lead Minneapolis school district

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Deputy Superintendent Dr. Sonia Stewart speaks at a community feedback meeting about the school facilities plan at The Howard School on Oct. 26.
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Deputy Superintendent Dr. Sonia Stewart speaks at a community feedback meeting about the school facilities plan at The Howard School on Oct. 26.

Hamilton County Schools Deputy Superintendent Sonia Stewart was not selected to be the superintendent of a Minnesota school district Friday.

After an hour of comments from school board members, the Minneapolis Public Schools board voted for Lisa Sayles-Adams, superintendent of Eastern Carver County Schools in Minnesota. She will replace interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox.

In their comments, Minneapolis school board members said both candidates would be strong leaders who could make a difference in the district and praised Stewart for her thorough research of Minneapolis Public Schools. She was the top candidate for two school board members.

"She fits the superintendent profile above and beyond," said Minneapolis Public Schools board member Adriana Cerrillo, who spoke in favor of Stewart.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County school board grapples with use for Gateway building, future of Soddy-Daisy schools)

Cerillo said she liked Stewart's focus on excellence, as well as the fact that she was humble enough to understand that she did not have all of the answers.

Stewart was appointed as deputy superintendent by Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson in December 2021.

She previously served as the community superintendent for the MidTown Learning Community. Before moving to Hamilton County, Stewart worked as a high school principal, administrator and math teacher in Nashville.

In her interview with the Minneapolis school board earlier this week, Stewart spoke about the need to build trust with teachers and the community, as well as the necessity to create an environment where families feel welcome.

Contact Shannon Coan at [email protected] or 423-757-6396.

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