New superintendent hired in Brooklyn Center schools

Mark Bonine
Mark Bonine

Mark Bonine, an associate superintendent in Minneapolis Public Schools, will be Brooklyn Center Community Schools’ new superintendent.
Bonine was one of six candidates interviewed by the Brooklyn Center Board of Education March 1 and 2 and he accepted the position this week.
Brooklyn Center Supt. Keith Lester is retiring from the school district in June. He has been the superintendent for eight years.
Bonine has worked in public education for 38 years including as a teacher, principal and associate superintendent. He is currently in charge of schools in north Minneapolis through his role as associate superintendent.
Board of Education chair Cheryl Jechorek said that experience is one factor that makes Bonine a good fit as Brooklyn Center’s new superintendent.
The board’s priorities included finding a superintendent with experience in an urban, diverse school district as well as with a background in finance and a collaborative leadership style, Jechorek said.
“He has presented an entry plan to get to know the board and the rest of the staff in each building,” she said. “He has worked with principals, teachers and families. You can tell he’s connected at all levels. Part of his entry plan is to connect with the community,” she said.
The Board of Education will be working on a transition plan with Bonine and Lester as well.
Jechorek said overall the board is happy to have a new superintendent and to have completed its lengthy search process for the right candidate.
The search process started in 2012 and the board interviewed one group of candidates in the fall before going back to the drawing board.
“It’s been challenging just having that big unknown out there, now we’re just excited to be moving ahead,” Jechorek said.
“I just think all around his strengths fit us well,” Jechorek said about Bonine. “He’s had success in the things that are important to us.”

Contact Katy Zillmer at [email protected]