John Magas begins role as new superintendent for Duluth Schools

Updated: July 01, 2020 06:52 PM

His first day as the Duluth Superintendent has been a good one. "It's been going great," John Magas told us. He's been able to meet more people in person. "Just the pride I have in how exceptional our teachers and administrators and students and families are."

There was a principals retreat on Tuesday, and more hiring and interviewing for key positions earlier this week.

He was hired by the Duluth School Board in March.

“On behalf of the Board we welcome John Magas to Duluth Public Schools and to his new position as Superintendent,” said Jill Lofald, Board Chairperson.  

While this is his first official day, Magas has spent several weeks meeting with district administrators, principals, staff and community members, observing board meetings and planning sessions. Now he's in the heart of it all.

"I live a couple of blocks away from the office. I'm getting to know the real community, getting to know the Central Hillside, and Duluth and everything it has to offer, and some of the struggles it has. It's been a real learning experience. And it's been great."

He wants parents to know he has an open door, and welcomes more voices in the conversations, especially diverse ones. "We need to make sure we are listening to everybody."

Both Lofald and Magas say the next two months will focus on preparing for the beginning of the school year.  The MN Depart of Education and MN Department of Health directed school districts to prepare for three possible school re-opening scenarios in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is expected to provide further direction to school districts the week of July 27.

"We can't just maintain learning, we need to be adding to learning," Magas said.

He also spent time with former superintendent Bill Gronseth, who he said had a real heart for the district.

When he's not working, he enjoys travel and mountain biking. Magas has two sons and stepson. His first school board meeting is Tuesday.

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