PEEBLES OUT AS MINNEAPOLIS SUPERINTENDENT; January 27, 2006; Minnesota Public Radio
The Minneapolis school board has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Thandiwe Peebles, less than two years after she was hired. During her tenure, Peebles became embroiled in controversies over her management style and over allegations that she used district employees to conduct personal business for her. The board has named former school board chair Bill Green as interim superintendent.
Minneapolis, Minn. — Peebles was hired in June 2004, and controversy followed shortly thereafter. Almost immediately, there were complaints of Peebles' no-nonsense communications style, and several longtime district employees left.
Then, last year, allegations from an anonymous former employee surfaced. That employee claimed Peebles used district employees to run errands for her, during working hours. An investigation ensued.
Even though Peebles' lawyer says the investigation didn't contain any substantive evidence of wrongdoing, school board members reportedly began talking about how to get rid of her.
"We have accepted the resignation of superintendent Peebles," School Board Chairman Joseph Erickson said Friday morning to a crowd awaiting the news. "And we'll be moving forward, accepting her resignation and a settlement to complete her contract."
Under the terms of the separation agreement, the board will pay Peebles some of the value left on her contract. And both sides agree not to talk in detail about the conditions under which Peebles resigned.
The district could have wound up paying Peebles around $250,000, but they settled on a total of $179,500. The agreement states that nothing in the settlement should be considered an admission that either party did anything wrong. And both sides agree not to make disparaging remarks about each other…
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It was a short tenure. Peebles' appointment was announced in June 2004. Here's a description of her leadership style:
Principals go to these meetings and they come back chilled," complains one employee who works in the district administration building and fears for her job. "The superintendent has publicly shamed professional staff for talking in the halls there, and despite her denials, for the way they dress. They must also ask permission to do the routine activities of their jobs or risk being paraded before the board for public shaming.
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