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Leadership

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In Richfield Public Schools, our leadership team values equity, engagement and accountability. As a team, the School Board and Superintendent work closely to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn, grow and excel, and that every staff member has the support and resources to succeed. 

Dr. Steven Unowsky, Superintendent

  • Superintendent since 2014
  • Experienced educator with over 20 years in school leadership
  • Doctorate in education leadership, master's in educational psychology-counseling, bachelor's in child psychology
  • Married with one college-age daughter
  • Contact Dr. Unowsky at steven.unowsky@rpsmn.org or 612-798-6011

RPS is an amazing place where we have an incredibly diverse community and offer all the opportunities of a large school district within a small, caring community.

Latanya Daniels sitting at her desk, smiling at the camera, wearing a red and white floral top.

Dr. Latanya Daniels, Assistant Superintendent

  • Former paraprofessional, math teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and high school principal
  • The principal of Richfield High School for five years 
  • Doctorate in educational leadership, master's in teaching, bachelor's in sociology
  • Addicted to home improvement television shows
  • Contact Dr. Daniels at latanya.daniels@rpsmn.org or call 612-798-6021

Whenever I experience challenges, I think of our students. They are the source of my joy and the purpose for which I serve.

Dr. Mary Clarkson, Executive Director of Special Programs

  • Former special education teacher, special education coordinator, and director of special education
  • Executive Director of Special Programs for Richfield Public Schools since 2013
  • Doctorate in educational leadership, master's in special education, bachelor's in special education
  • Mother of two and grandma to three amazing grandchildren 
  • Contact Dr. Clarkson at mary.clarkson@rpsmn.org or call 612-798-6041

Craig Holje

Craig Holje, Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer

  • Began career in education as a teacher in Richfield Public Schools
  • Cabinet level leader in Richfield Public Schools since 2005
  • Master's in human resources, bachelor's in teaching
  • Married with three sons
  • Contact Craig at craig.holje@rpsmn.org or call 612-798-6031

Learn More About the Different Roles in Richfield Public Schools

What goes into evaluating a superintendent?

The role of the superintendent in a school district is critical. The superintendent serves as the top executive and educational leader responsible for the overall functioning and success of our district. The superintendent plays a multifaceted role, combining administrative, instructional and community leadership responsibilities. Here are some key aspects of the superintendent's role:

  • Working closely with administrators and staff to develop and implement educational goals and initiatives based on the strategic vision set by the school board. 
  • Ensuring the district's programs and services align with educational standards and best practices, aiming to enhance student achievement and promote a positive learning environment for all students.
  • Collaborating with staff to develop and implement policies and procedures that support effective and efficient district operations.
  • Serving as a liaison between the district and the community, building partnerships with parents, local businesses, community organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Working closely with the school board, providing them with information, recommendations and insights to support informed decision-making.
  • Representing the district at various local, regional and state-level events and meetings. 
  • In times of crisis or emergency situations, the superintendent works closely with local authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff, and the school community.

Overall, the superintendent's role is to provide visionary leadership, foster a positive educational environment, manage district operations, engage with the community, collaborate with the school board and advocate for the district's interests. By fulfilling these responsibilities, the superintendent plays a vital role in shaping the educational experiences and outcomes of students within our school district.

At Richfield Public Schools, the superintendent is evaluated annually by the school board in an ongoing process that takes place throughout the year, as described in Policy 303 and Administrative Guideline 303.1. Each fall, the board discusses publicly what the superintendent’s goals will be for the year to ensure alignment with our strategic priorities and the evolving educational landscape.These goals fall into two areas:

  • Student Achievement Goals: The superintendent is evaluated on how much academic progress is made in student achievement and in equitable outcomes for all students. 
  • Process Goals: The superintendent is evaluated on their success in spurring systematic improvements throughout all areas of the district. 

In February, the superintendent provides a public update to the board with the mid-year progress on all of the goals for the year. 

Every year, we distribute a survey to staff and families to assess district progress. Some of the survey questions specifically ask about the performance of the superintendent. The board receives a presentation on the survey results when complete, and the board chair also takes these responses into consideration when compiling the superintendent’s evaluation. 

In June and July, the superintendent’s evaluation process takes place. The superintendent gives a final presentation to the board on the goals for the year, and the board chair compiles information from a number of sources to create a final evaluation that is discussed in a closed board meeting with the superintendent. The board chair considers:

  • The superintendent’s progress in the student achievement goals and process goals for the year
  • Feedback from all the board members as well as all the staff members who report directly to the superintendent
  • The results of the annual staff and family surveys 

By factoring in all of this data and using a comprehensive evaluation criteria and assessment scale, the board chair is able to evaluate the superintendent's performance across various aspects of leadership, management, educational programs and services, resource utilization, communication and professional growth and development.

These evaluation guidelines signify the school board's commitment to ensuring the superintendent's effectiveness, professional growth and ultimately the success of the school district. By promoting a transparent and structured evaluation process, we aim to foster continuous improvement and meet the evolving needs of our community.
 

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