Christine Osorio in negotiations to be North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools' new superintendent

Christine Osorio
Christine Osorio

Just four weeks have passed since the District 622 School Board decided to begin a second superintendent search with the national search firm School Exec Connect, and already the top finalist, Christine Osorio, has been named.

Last week the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District announced it had winnowed its latest list of candidates to replace retiring superintendent Patty Phillips down to two leading contenders -- Dr. Debra Henton, superintendent of North Branch Area Public Schools, and Osorio, chief academic officer for St. Paul Public Schools.

The school board’s initial search for a new superintendent began in October shortly after Phillips said she would be stepping down at the end of this school year. In early April, the school board entered into contract negotiations with its then-top candidate, Dr. Ryan Laager, executive director of curriculum and secondary education for the Stillwater Area School District. But board members were unable to reach a consensus on Laager’s proposed employment contract, which it denied in a 3-4 vote April 14.

This time around, the board members were able to reach a consensus when identifying their top candidate, picking Osorio in a 7-0 vote at a special meeting May 18.

The school board then voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Osorio to be District 622’s new superintendent.

“We want to thank all of our candidates for their interest in our district, and also thank our staff, students and families and community for their support during this process,” District 622 board chair Theresa Auge’ said in a district statement.

“We felt it was crucial to have a unanimous vote on such an important decision. Our vote was unanimous.

“The experience Ms. Osorio brings to our district will prove invaluable as we move forward,” she said.

Osorio has worked in the St. Paul School District since 1997 and has been a member of the superintendent’s cabinet since 2011.

While with the district, she has held positions as assistant superintendent; executive director of curriculum, instruction, and professional development; principal at Wellstone Elementary School; and assistant principal at Adams Spanish Immersion School.

Her educational career began in the Peace Corps, where she was a teacher-trainer in the Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean.

Osorio earned her superintendent’s license at Mankato State University. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and license in K-12 education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in English as a second language (K-12), and elementary education (K-6) as well as in Spanish.

Osorio and her family live within the District 622 boundaries.

The school board had hoped to review and approve a final contract with Osorio at its regular meeting Tuesday, May 26, at the District Service Center in North St. Paul.

--Joshua Nielsen


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