Mequon-Thiensville superintendent doesn't want MPS job

Published on: 7/31/2009

Demond Means, the superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District, said Friday he will not be a candidate for superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools.

Means had been a prominent figure in speculation about the MPS job, which is coming open because of plans by Superintendent William Andrekopoulos to retire next year.

"I decided not to put my hat in the ring for this search," Means said.

Means said the Mequon-Thiensville School Board has offered him two two-year extensions of his contract, which would take him to 2013 in his current position, and he intends to fulfill those contracts.

Means, a graduate of MPS and a resident of Milwaukee, has said in the past that a career goal for him is to head MPS, and he has been active in issues related to Milwaukee education and the needs of disadvantaged students. His wife is principal of an MPS elementary school.

But, he said, he loves his current job.

"I work in a community that really honors and respects education, and that's important to me," he said. He said he wants to see Mequon-Thiensville schools become "a true laboratory for change and innovation. . . . We're pointed to do some really interesting things."

In his current job, Means said he can pursue roles as a leader in regional, state and national educational issues.

Means, 37, has been superintendent of Mequon-Thiensville since November, 2007. He has worked previously in teaching and administrative positions with several suburban school districts. He said his base salary, as of this fall, will be $145,000.

"I love Milwaukee and I have the utmost respect for Milwaukee educators," he said. "Whatever happens with the search, I want to be a resource to the new Milwaukee superintendent."

The Milwaukee School Board has hired a firm to conduct a search for a superintendent and will meet Tuesday night to discuss in general terms how the search will be conducted.