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Johnson leaving River Falls School District

South Washington County Schools in Minnesota has picked two new assistant superintendents -- one a longtime District 833 administrator, the other a school official and education professor in River Falls.

Mike Johnson is academic services director in the River Falls School District, where he previously served as a middle school principal and assistant high school principal.

Julie Nielsen, a Middleton Elementary School principal with 18 years in the district, was named the other assistant superintendent. Johnson also is an adjunct education professor at UW-River Falls.

Johnson and Nielsen will report to Superintendent Keith Jacobus.

 “I could not be more pleased to have these fine administrators join our district team,” Jacobus said in a statement. “Both Julie and Mike have the experience, leadership skills, and personalities necessary to help us as a system continue to improve.

“Their backgrounds complement each other and the focus we have on instructional excellence within our district. I am excited to welcome both of these leaders to our district team.”

The District 833 School Board likely will vote on the appointments this week. If approved, they will start July 1.

Johnson began his career as an English teacher, advisor and coach in west-central Wisconsin, according to information provided by District 833.

For nearly 10 years he’s been a UWRF adjunct professor in assessment and principal licensure. He is pursuing a doctorate degree at Bethel University.

Johnson said in a profile that he wants to serve in a metropolitan school district where he is “able to impact student achievement and excellence on a preK-12 scale.”

Nielsen and Johnson will succeed Dave Bernhardson and Keith Ryskoski, who announced in March they are leaving June 30. Bernhardson has since been hired as the next superintendent for the Inver Grove Heights School District.

Bernhardson oversees elementary education, Ryskoski secondary education. Jacobus previously said he may change how the assistant superintendent positions in South Washington are aligned.

--By Scott Wente