MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO — The board of Minneapolis Public Schools has zeroed in on its candidate to temporarily lead the district following Superintendent Ed Graff’s decision to step down.

Board Chair Kim Ellison announced Thursday that current Associate Superintendent Rochelle Cox will be interim superintendent for the upcoming school year, pending the board’s vote.

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Cox, who previously served as district executive director of special education and health services, has been with MPS for a quarter century.

(credit: CBS)

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Greta Callahan and Shaun Laden, co-presidents of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals, said in a statement Thursday that the district “has made a good decision” in selecting Cox.

“We believe whoever is the next superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools must work with a collaborative spirit, share decision-making power with students, families and educators and direct all available MPS resources to the classroom to ensure every student gets the education they deserve,” Callahan and Laden said.

Superintendent Graff, who will stay in his role until June 30, led the district for six years. During his tenure, district educators went on strike for the first time in 52 years. The COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the unrest that followed also occurred on his watch. He announced his decision to leave the district in late March.

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Ellison says the board will “soon” share more information on the search for a permanent superintendent.